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Trustees delay old school resolution

| June 11, 2004 12:00 AM

By Paul Boring, Western News Reporter

The Libby School District Board of Trustees decided at agenda meeting on Tuesday to postpone passing a resolution to dispose of the old high school building until the regular board meeting on June 22.

To dispose of school property, the board must pass a resolution deeming the building abandoned, obsolete, undesirable, or unsuitable for school district purposes.

³This is a legal document that needs to be done if something¹s going to happen to that building,² Superintendent Kirby Maki said.

Attorney Ann German expressed concerns that the board had not given proper notice to the public prior to deliberating on the resolution.

³What notice was given to the public that you folks were going to consider this resolution tonight?² German asked.

Notice of the agenda meeting was posted at various locations, Maki said, including the district office and area stores.

³We always fax or post to 10 or 12 locations 48 hours or more in advance,² Maki said. ³I believe this was posted on Friday.²

Once a resolution is passed, a 14-day appeal period is triggered, during which time petitions may be filed with the district court.

³This is something that we have to do regardless of what we decide to do with the building,² Maki said. ³Really what this does is give us options all the way

around.²

³This doesn¹t obligate us to do anything,² said board chairperson Teri Kelly.

German said that failure to properly post notice of the meeting and the board¹s intentions could cause legal problems down the road.

³This is about giving the public notice, so they can come to the meeting because you¹re going to pass a resolution,² German said. ³If you want to do this tonight, I would say you haven¹t given them notice. If you want to give them notice to come on the 22nd, that would be great. I¹m saying that if you pass the resolution tonight, you¹re going to have problems explaining this to a district judge.²

Maki and the board opted to double-check the legalities of posting notice for meetings or intent to pass resolutions. The trustees will re-examine the issue at the next meeting.

At the regular board meeting on June 22, three different proposals will be presented for the disposal of the old high school building, including demolition, renovation of the structure, and selling the property. According to the School Laws of Montana, a resolution must be passed before the board takes any action.

The meeting on June 22 will be held at 7 p.m. at the Central Administration Building.