COVERT — The Covert Board of Education has approved a $1 million tax refund to New Covert Generating Plant, but the district still might owe more.
The repayment is the result of a state tax tribunal decision and subsequent court rulings, a process that began about five years ago when the then-owner of the gas plant appealed its tax assessment.
The Michigan Tax Tribunal ruled in 2013 that the plant was being over-assessed, resulting in a refund due for 2010-11. Covert’s portion of the refund was a little over $1.05 million.,
Covert schools Superintendent Bobbi Morehead said Monday the $1 million bill was a principal payment only and it has not yet been decided if the school owes interest.
In other matters, the board had to reopen bids for milk providers for school meals due to a mix-up at the local post office. Only one bid from Prairie Farms was received last July. Current supplier Cedar Crest Dairy of Hudsonville had submitted a certified bid but it was never received. When tracked down, it was found that it had made it to the Covert Post Office which did attempt to deliver it. The board approved Cedar Crest’s bid for the 2018-2019 school year.
Starting in 2019, high schoolers will have to earn 21 credits to graduate. Graduation requirements for current students is 18 credits. High school Principal Yolanda Brunt explained that in the past the school only required the state minimum of 18 credits. Most schools, she said, require 23 to 24 credits. With the district adding classes like music, art, creative writing and gym, students will be able to earn the extra credits. The credit requirements will increase by one for 2020 and 2021.
Darryl Williams was hired as Human Resources and Operations Manager. Williams was hired last November as operations manager, but due to a retirement vacancy, the school combined the two positions to save money.
Also hired was Dawn Meier as bus driver.
Approval was granted for the resignation of physical education teacher Dennis Paquette. Paquette, who resigned last September as Bangor Public Schools superintendent, has accepted a wrestling coach position in Olivet, according to Morehead.