Archive for Wednesday, February 4, 2004

Winter exacts toll on city’s budget

February 4, 2004

For the fourth time this school year -- on Monday -- winter's blasts cancelled classes.

School superintendent Richard Erickson said the district can still take off additional snow days -- but only if absolutely necessary.

The school's calendar provides for 1,170 hours of classroom time, Erickson said. The state's minimum requirement is 1,116 hours.

So the district could close for another four days. But Erickson said that's not likely to happen.

"We still have about four more snow days before we reach the state minimum," Erickson said Monday. "But we obviously want to attend school more hours than the state minimum."

Erickson said he generally makes a decision to cancel classes by 6 a.m. He starts by taking a 4 p.m. drive along some of the most difficult gravel roads in the district.

Then he calls other school superintendents in the area and compares notes about the roads. And he calls county crews to find out if the roads have been cleared.

Winter weather also has put a strain on city crews.

As of Monday, the city had spent $6,825 to spread sand, gravel, chemicals

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