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Education

Bedford schools offered $10,000 for ad-sign contract

Business in talks for space at ball fields

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Superintendent Ted Magrum says the alumni association has been the contact.

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TEMPERANCE -- The Bedford Public Schools could be in line for additional money for Bedford Community Stadium, the board of education was told at its committee of the whole meeting last week.

Superintendent Ted Magrum said a Bedford business has offered to pay $10,000 a year for 10 years in return for being allowed to place ad signs at the press box and baseball and softball fields.

The superintendent did not identify the business but said negotiations were under way. The Bedford High School Alumni Association has been the contact with the business, he said. The money would be used to service debt for the first six years, then would go into a fund to build restrooms at the stadium.

The district signed a 12-year, $264,000 agreement last year with the Grogan's Towne car dealership for naming rights to the stadium field. Mr. Magrum said the Grogan contract would not bar an agreement for the signs.

The board also placed on its agenda for Thursday's regular meeting a plan by the superintendent to resubmit the district's deficit-elimination plan to the Michigan Department of Education.

The plan, originally filed in August, was required by the state after the board adopted an operating budget that left the district with a $2.36 million operating deficit at the end of the 2011-12 school year. Since then, the district has received no acceptance or rejection, even though Lansing was supposed to respond within two weeks. Mr. Magrum said 48 other Michigan districts have filed such plans with the state.

The resubmitted plan includes the same cost-cutting options but would bring spending into alignment with revenues by June 30, 2015, a four-year period instead of the two-year time frame required by the state.

Mr. Magrum said he hoped the Department of Education would be amenable to this because the district had shown good faith in cutting costs. The board approved $2.4 million in cuts in 2010, including the closure of Smith Road Elementary School and layoffs of 16 elementary teachers.

Proposals in the plan include further concessions from employees, closing another school building or increasing class sizes, switching to trimesters and eliminating four to five teachers, eliminating a resource officer from the Monroe County Sheriff's Office, and reducing transportation.

The resubmitted plan also includes savings from privatizing jobs including custodians, bus drivers, and bus aides in the third year of the proposal.

Mr. Magrum also reported to the board that it had not been determined if the gym floor at Temperance Road Elementary School, which a broken water main flooded two weeks ago, could be repaired.

Mr. Magrum said the estimated replacement cost of the floor was $35,000 to $40,000 and would be covered by insurance.

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