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Wolford School Board prepares for district’s last day

By Staff | May 21, 2020

With just over one month left as an official school board, the Wolford Public School Board met Tuesday evening in the empty building’s library.

A few books remained on the library shelves, as did tables of items in the hallway with “free” signs attached.

After the board voted to pay school bills for May, including utilities, Superintendent Larry Zavada reported on the building’s slow decline and the few items left inside of it.

“What’s left in the building – most items have little or no value,” Zavada told the board. “I honestly believe with everything on this list, you couldn’t sell it all for $300.”

Zavada reported some items had been sold to the Rolette Care Center, Little Flower School in Rugby, and the Dale and Martha Hawk Museum.

“They’re very happy with all of it,” board member Jeff Morrow said of the items he delivered to the care center.

“The Little Flower Catholic School was out here, too,” Zavada said. “They bought (equipment) and some of the library books. They talked to Landon Halvorson about strips we have in the hallway to put up projects. He said, ‘Take them.’ They were thrilled. I know some of the care center (personnel) made a couple of trips (to buy items).”

Landon Halvorson purchased the school building for $500 in December of last year.

Zavada told the board Halvorson would be present at its June meeting to sign documents pertaining to the school property transfer. Wolford School’s official last day as a public school will be June 30.

Zavada said the school hoped to sell curtains for its stage, a milk-dispensing machine from the cafeteria and some office equipment.

“We have file cabinets,” Zavada said. “No one wants file cabinets anymore. You can’t give them away.”

School Business Manager Wanita Olson told the board she listed the items for sale on bismanonline.com.

“On everything that’s listed, it doesn’t pay to have a rummage sale and pay someone to be (onsite to sell the items),” Zavada noted.

The board had previously discussed having some of the items present or for sale at Wolford’s All School Reunion. Last month, reunion committee members postponed the event to June 11, 2021, after the school district no longer exists.

Olson reported a general fund balance for the district of $297,607.83 as of April 30. The district’s special reserve balance was $61,905 as of April 30.

Olson reported meeting with Pierce County Auditor Karin Fursather to ask questions and discuss transferring records and finances.

She also reported the Wolford School District and the Pierce County Auditor’s office are still waiting on letters from the North Dakota Department of Public Instruction in order to continue with the dissolution process.

Olson asked Zavada and the board about paying bills near the school closure date, and how bank accounts should be closed.

“There are so many things that, once you get to June 30, what do you do?” Olson asked.

Zavada told Olson the district would need to make payments to Pierce County government and the North Dakota School Boards Association next month.

The board voted to pay bills “as they come” until June 30, when Fursather would take over the duty.

Olson informed the board former student records were stored at Rugby High School, and school board meeting records would be stored at the county courthouse.

Olson said after the board pays final bills, funds amounting to more than $10,000 would be distributed to property taxpayers in the former Wolford School District per North Dakota Century Code.

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