On and Off The Mountain-Stephanie Grubert

The cold wet spring was broken by two glorious days of warm sunshine last week. Was it a dream? The forecast for this week is rain and 40’s just about every day. I did notice in my yard after the two warm days, Friday 79° and Saturday 80° that my lawn started greening and the forsythia showed a hint of the yellow flowers to come.

Charlie and I played 9 holes at Blue Ridge Golf Club Saturday afternoon. The place was buzzing with happy golfers and the staff eagerly greeted each new and returning customer. Amazingly Blue Ridge had lots of green fairways. General Manager Duane Schell is the master of pristine golf course management.

My drives did not go far on the soft fairways, but I hit mostly straight and did not lose any, always a goal for me.

Our ladies league would most likely not play or meet again for the third week in a row, but that the officers would make decision after my deadline. I believe I am into my 22nd year of golf. Not that I have excelled with my skills in two decades, but I can keep the ball in play and score in the mid 50’s for nine holes. It’s a great sport for life.

Crestwood Financial Planning

The Crestwood School Board will meet this Thursday to once again look over plans to furlough teachers and reorganize the grades in Rice and Fairview Elementary schools. The preliminary school operating budget for next year, voted on last month, is $39,882,189 with a tax rate of 10.1632 mills, an increase of $2,158,139 and 3.2% for property tax.

The current budget is $37,724,050. The school board is proposing to increase school spending by $2,158,139 or 5.4%, all with the reality of years of declining enrollment.

Crestwood Education Association president Bill Kane sent out a press release last week to the newspapers rallying his supporters, the Crestwood parents of children currently enrolled in school, to come out to the meeting and once again voice their position about the proposed furloughs and reorganization of the elementary. The union has no interest in administering tax dollars efficiently.

The proposed teacher cuts have been estimated to save the district $1.1 million total includes eight elementary teachers, given the banding, or reconfiguration of elementary schools, is approved.

There are 1433 elementary students and 75 teachers for a teacher/pupil ratio of 21 students. The numbers vary according to grade level.

At the secondary campus, the board is considering furloughing two technical education teachers, a home economics teacher, a Spanish teacher, a guidance counselor, and two secondary aides. Currently there are 5 guidance counselors and 4 world language teachers. The middle/high school campus has 73 professional positions including 67 teachers, 5 guidance counselors and a media director servicing 1338 students. Teacher/pupil ratio is 20 students.

Crestwood enrollment declined by 331 students or 10.5% in the past 10 years going from 3141 students in 2008 to its current level of 2810 in 2018.

There are no overcrowded classes in any of the buildings. The Crestwood School Board must pass a budget fair to all taxpayers.

Upper Ice Lake Repair The draining of the Upper Ice

Lake in Rice Township is ongoing. I was shocked last week as I drove by to see the exposed stumps from the eastern end toward the dam. As I was taking photos with my iPhone Jim Kinsman and his good friend Alan Snelson drove up with a drone in hand planning to photograph the aerial view of the lake. Jim offered to share his photos with me and the Mountaintop Eagle and I gladly agreed.

The aerial view photos are spectacular in showing how much water is still in the man made lake that initially served as a winter repository for ice sales before electrical refrigeration was available a hundred years ago.

Draining the lake to repair an outlet pipe and the dam are ongoing. Rice Township announced that the project should be completed by the end of May weather permitting at their meeting earlier this month. The Eagle will have a more complete technical report on the project in a future edition.

Signs of Spring Back to the signs of spring, I

enjoyed two vigorous hikes up into the Gamelands last weekend. The trail was the driest I have ever seen it for early spring and the road surface was flat with most rocks firmly in place. After the rain it might be different.

I had two daffodil blooms try to open over the weekend and they were still struggling early Monday morning. We will have another cool week ahead, but come May changes are sure to come.