Lonsdale council denies request by M-L Schools

By Wade Young

Montgomery Messenger

By a unanimous vote, the Lonsdale City Council denied the request for additional funds to the Montgomery-Lonsdale School District at the regular council meeting, Thursday, March 31.

School Board member Michelle Slomkowski had asked the council if the city could give the school district $500,000 for a separate cafeteria and separate full gymnasium in the new school that is expected to open in 2006. Plans call for a combination gymnasium/cafeteria similar to the one in the Montgomery elementary school.

At the March meeting, Slomkowski said she had read the letters to the editor from Lonsdale families that were published in The New Prague Times, and did not intend for the issue to create controversy.

Slomkowski said she resented the insinuation the school district planned poorly with the school's design.

“I resent the fact we were accused of poor planning,” she said. “We did a very nice job. There were a number of people here who were on that design committee, and we are bringing forward a very nice building that will meet the needs of the families in the Montgomery-Lonsdale School District.”

Mayor Tim Rud said he didn’t think Slomkowski felt she needed to apologize and respected her request. Rud said however, there were some valid points in the letters published.

Council member Fritz Duban acknowledged the city is split between two school districts and that he respected the district for coming forward for help.

“I don’t think it’s fair for New Prague district people to kick in and pay for the other school district’s school,” he said. “I think each district should be on their own.”

Council member Dave Dols agreed adding, “If there was any chance to share any money with the two districts, we would, but the timing isn’t right.”

Council member Kevin Kodada said it is frustrating when any school issue comes before the council, it results in one side against the other. He finished by saying he wished everyone could just get along.

Duban said what frustrates him the most is when word travels throughout the community before the city acts on an issue.

“We get requests all the time, and the next thing you know everything is blown out of proportion,” he said. “I think writing editorials is very uncalled for.”

Slomkowski apologized again for putting the council in that position.

Other business

In other business, the council approved the Novak Sanitation Contract for Lonsdale that will give residents the choice of using the current bag system or a new cart system.

Mayor Rud said the reason for the contract discussion was because of citizens’ requests to have more options for their refuse than just purchasing bags.

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