A blessing’s bottom line

Partners Fox News and the Duluth Trib followed up on the purchase and eviction of several disabled tenants to make room for a new parking lot at Denfeld. The owner’s of the hotel described it as a blessing. Theirs presumably because even the tenants acknowledge that keeping up the Duluth Hotel has been back breaking and the owners describe the business as so unprofitable that the wife had to take a second job.

And there is no doubt that Denfeld High School could use the parking.

“After paying more than $400,000, the district can add 110 parking spaces at Denfeld.”

Of course, even if no new students come to Denfeld it could use the parking because, as many have noted, Denfeld neighbors have complained for years if not decades about the cars students park everywhere.

The blessing will be a little less tangible for the disabled residents who for the time being have nowhere to go. At least the District has given them until June to find new accommodations.

This spending – the Board just authorized $400,000 although the District paid more than this, was not part of the original Red Plan. Perhaps its last minute goodies like this that account for taking money from the classroom to pay for construction. The District’s finances are getting tight. Former School Board member Rich Paulson, a retired banker, has been going through the finances for a couple months now and commented on how the District has been spending down the hard won budget reserve my Era’s Board tried to make permanent. A retired Administrator I was talking to recently confirmed that this is the case. It would be interesting to ask Board Chair Tim Grover, who once prided himself on fighting to set up and preserve an “undesignated” reserve equaling ten percent of the overall budget, what he thinks about the District’s finances. Of course, he recently said that the School Board wasn’t using the levy money approved by voters last fall for the Red Plan.

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