Monday, April 12, 2010

Highland Park School Addition and the Boy's and Girl's Club

We took a drive by the Highland Park school this weekend to see what has been happening with the infamous school addition. It appears that the excavation contractor has completed the utility line work through the new addition and is busy getting a gravel base in place for the concrete work. Not much to see, a big pile of dirt and a few pieces of equipment. There was no evidence of any concrete forms or anything to indicate that work would be commencing soon. Didn’t the local contractor that was shunned on this project by our school board in favor or the out of town contractor say back on October 17, 2009 that he would be able to start immediately to get this groundwork and foundation done before winter set in? It has been 6 months and counting.

 Currently the Highland Park School has been pinched for space and is using a north portion of the old Devlin School for four of their classes. When, or if, this addition ever get done the Havre School Board has suggested that they sell the old Devlin School property to the Boy’s and Girl’s Club for one dollar. While we agree that the Devlin School needs to be sold to stop the ongoing expenses the school district incurs with this building we wonder if it is feasible from the perspective of the taxpayers to just be happy with a dollar. Aren’t they short of funds to even  to the point of having to run a mill levy election this year? We agree that the Boy’s and Girl’s Club makes some necessary and important contributions to the community with their after school programs but couldn’t they at least make a token payment of $45,000 or so which is what the school district will be asking the voters to pony up this spring?

The Devlin School property currently inhabits a full city block of property in the 500 block of 1st Avenue. A full block of property in this area of Havre would allow the placement of 12 housing lots and considering that said lots would potentially sell for around $35,000 each shouldn’t the school board at least consider just selling the property to the highest bidder? This property could potentially generate $420,000 less whatever it cost to tear the existing building down. In addition, considering that an average $100,000 dollar home on these lots would generate property tax revenue of approximately $1,000 each per year that goes directly to the school system wouldn’t the taxpayers be better served with an ongoing revenue source that could potentially generate $12,000 per year to their coffers that would be never ending? A non-profit like the Boy’s and Girl’s Club pays no property taxes.

The Corrector realizes that the programs at the Boy’s and Girl’s Club provide benefits to the area residents and students. We are posting this suggestion for feedback from the taxpayers view. What say you readers?

Don't forget to vote in the school mill levy election


  1. I think this property has more value than a buck. I don't know if it is as worth as much as you guys think but it should be explored.

    an by the way, I am glad you are finally going to moderate these comments. I don't mind differing opinions but it has gotten real old all the abuse a few on here heap on the people that comment.

    Neocondestroyer should run for Mayor

  2. Thanks HDC for finally stepping up to do something about those (including Neo) that do not want to hear any opinions except what is published on infowars. The drama on here is getting real old when you can’t even make an intelligent comment without a punch from someone that thinks you’re stupid and always puts you down. I thought this was so everyone of all parties or of no party at all could express their opinions not just the juvenile?

    I like the good the Boys and Girls club does but I do see that as a taxpayer there could be some value here in this property but maybe it is of more value as a donation to our youth and the B and G club?

  3. Interesting that the board wants to on one hand give away a valuable asset yet still feels the need to ask us to support a mill levy to increase our taxes

    I think carlson is doing fine and we don't even need a new super. I am still voting no to the mill levy

  4. I would like to see an outright sale explored for the best price. The club is funded with federal and state taxes already and they are capable of obtaining grants for the purchase os a building.Don't they pay rent presently?

    The board sure doesn't appear to run things for the good of the taxpayers. They should explore all the options, Sale, donation, auction, long-term lease, etc

  5. I am offended that the school board is doing this at the same time as they are "requesting" 45,000 from the taxpayers. Vote NO on the mill levy. Sell the property to the B & G club for 45,000. Still a good deal for the club. It is offensive.

    Is NEO on the school board?

  6. ok I know this is off the topic.
    but so are the previous posts.
    I just got off the phone with Conn
    (he's a friend of mine)he is amuzed by these comments and I know from personal expierience that he stands by his convictions.
    kinda funny how he has all the power here and has gotten into some of your heads.If you knew Conn you would know that that pleases him,as you are not in his.thank you,and by the way,I think that they should sell the property to the highest bidder.

  7. Did Neo get banned? I hope so

  8. Come on people have a heart!! Stop by the club and ask how they get their funding and from where. Take a tour and talk to the kids and see how you can contribute. Its going to take major fundraising for them to buy this building. Remember the Baltrusch community center? It doesn't exist because there was not enough donations even though thousands of dollars was raised. What is the price of a safe place for kids to stay while mom is working? And yes I support the mill levy too!! This is the smallest levy in over a decade and Havre taxpayers have always been strong supporters of our schools. If you have concerns about how they spend our money, go to the budget meeting where they have to explain every dollar spent.

  9. Loubug, I have nothing against the Boys and Girls Club, I think they do really great things for our kids, my kids went there and I hope my grandkids can too. However, the School Board needs to learn a lesson the same way the people of Great Falls sent a message two years ago there. We cannot handle the additional tax burden especially when they waste our money without any regard for our feelings and considerations. GO the budget meeting, you mean the meeting where they tell you we are not allowed to comment and everything is confidential and if we want something we have to file a freedom of information act request? Those meetings? Please, I don't think so.

  10. Lou-

    This is not about the B&G Club. Everyone agrees it is a good thing for our community. This is about a school board who with one hand gives away property worth a lot of money while at the same time holding their other hand out to the taxpayers. Not to mention they will not comment on their giving away of 200k. I also am an advocate of selling the property to the Club for 45,000. This is a great deal for the club.

    The mill levy is not about the children when they gave away 200k that will never see the inside of a classroom. You can not say "it's for the children" and excuse yourself from all accountablility. I will be voting NO on the mill levy. NO to the mismanagment of hundreds of thousands of dollars. NO to top heavy school districts.

  11. If that arrogant idiot Shad Huston would have explained in detail why he went to out of town contractors,or even paid 200k to a lawyer instead of mahon, people may have voted for the mill levy.The school board members can blame themselves if the mill levy don't go through.VOTE NO TO MILL LEVY AND SHAD HUSTON.

  12. To Tattoo it seems to me that the neo-nazi is powerless on this blog.You can tell him that he wasn't getting in everyones heads,it was more like he was getting on everyones nerves.

  13. I happen to be at neo's puter and forgot to sign in on my account. I had a nice comment but the corrector killed it because wrong
    account,oops,anyway it went something like this. I read back on the comments and all of you are guilty of bashing and some others of the cut and copy thing.I did'nt find anything that offensive to my sensibilities,that anybody posted.
    People in glass houses should not throw stones.And it is also kind of a curious thing,only maybe 12 different people comment on here
    and they are always the same people. So my wonderment is how can the corrector be losing readership if all the same people are still here commenting?

  14. don't the tax payers own the school buildings and property? how is it that the people on the school board can just decide by themselves what to do with it? kind of like having a bank account and having the bank manager decide that your money needs to go to something they decide on,and you have no say on it. Whats wrong with this picture?

  15. one more thing fedup,why are you still calling names? neo nazi? grow up please and I can take your comments and opinions more seriously. Thank you

  16. one more thing and I hope the corrector will allow me, even though it's off topic. In defense
    of the Neo Nazi, He is more accuratly a Constitutional Patriot.
    as am I. Thank You and have a Great sunny day!


    I see Neo-con maney is back now calling himself Tattoo

    At least you are being a little more polite in your comments

  18. Nope superman,he's done with trying to warn you. Quote"Mayberry aint ready for the truth". But I find this blog kind of interesting and would like to join the conversation.But not if your going to start bashing me right away and
    not accept me.Please just post your comments and opinions to the thread.I am not going to Argue with anyone,just try to offer my take on the topic.Thank you and have a great day!

  19. Unfortunately it is not as easy as just saying that the school district wants to sell the building for $45000. In the contract for $1 if the B & G Club ever stops using the building than the school district gets the building back to sell. Also, to be able to out right sell the building you would need to have appraisals and survery's conducted. Do you know how much those would cost the taxpayers? Then the school district would be required to tell everyone exactly what problems the building all has (such as needing a new roof & boiler). These fixes would cost thounsands upon thousands of dollars. By the time everything is said and done the district would probably be sitting with a building that no one wanted. I fully support letting the B & G Club have the building for a $1. They are able to get the grants to put on a new roof and get a new boiler that we as a school district can not. If we ever do get the building back I am sure it will be in better shape than it currently stands.

  20. Parent: this is exactly the problm I am worried most about.

    We know Devlin has maintenance issues, that was part of the discussion when they closed it in the first place.

    Don't get me wrong, I have nothing bud admiration for what the Boys & Girls Club does, but lets look at this from the other angle, the worst case scenario.

    Let's assume for a minute, the club cannot raise the money to replace the roof or the boiler and the energy costs begin to create a problem. The club has to give back the liability to the School District, now where are we?

    This is not much unlike the Old Post Office to me, where the City got the problem back from the Clack Museum.

    The School District needs to shed itself of these liabilities immediately by selling the property for more than a token dollar. While this may be difficult for the club to consider, the fact remains the other way is simply a short term solution to a long term solution.

  21. --short term solution to a long term problem--sorry gotta lay off the pot!