SHERWOOD — Erika Willitzer, Director of the Defiance County Economic Improvement Corporation, was in attendance during the Central Local Board of Education meeting Monday evening to discuss plans for a Community Reinvestment Area (CRA) in Sherwood.

In addition, the board heard heard a presentation from Spanish teacher Jacqueline Davis about the World Languages Club, and an update on in-person learning from superintendent Steve Arnold.

Willitzer explained to the board she presented information about the CRA to Ney Village Council at its meeting on Sept. 8.

At that meeting, she explained a study was undertaken by the Maumee Valley Planning Organization in the village, and she presented information on establishing a CRA in Ney, the only incorporated village/city in Defiance County without one.

“All the other communities in Defiance County have a CRA, but Ney doesn’t,” said Willitzer to council. “The CRA is a tool to help with revitalization to bring in new business, but to also assist existing businesses and home owners. We discussed an ordinance of support with the village for the CRA, with terms of a 7-year, 75% tax abatement for new businesses, or for remodeling of at least $5,000 on existing businesses and residential homes.”

Because the CRA is asking for more than a 50% tax abatement, both the Central Local Board of Education and the Four County Board of Education, would each have to approve a resolution to allow for the CRA.

After asking Willitzer several questions, the board did not take any action on the CRA, however, the board will most likely make a decision in November.

In her presentation, Davis shared information about what’s taking place in both her high school Spanish class, as well as the World Languages Club.

When asked by a board member if a student who takes four years of high school Spanish could work as an interpreter, Davis said in a beginning role.

In his report, Arnold gave an update on in-person learning. He told the board that as of Friday, there were 18 students and staff in quarantine, that cases in quarantine continue to decline, and that there are currently four positive cases (students and staff).

Arnold went on to say that at present, there is no need to enact a mask mandate.

“We’re excited that in-person learning is going as well as it is,” said Arnold. “With that said, I haven’t forgotten about the potential need for remote learning at some point,” said Arnold. “However, I don’t believe the district is at that point, yet.

“Our numbers remain manageable at this time, so I’m not really interested in giving students the open of ‘staying home’ and taking advantage of remote learning,” added Arnold. “We need them here. When they must quarantine, we’ll make their lessons educational and worthwhile.”

The superintendent shared a projects update, telling the board that with the exception of a few cosmetic items, the interior punch list is complete. Meanwhile, work on the the bus garage continues to progress, with the floor poured and the roof attached.

The completion date is Feb. 26, but the project could be completed earlier.

The board went into executive session to discuss negotiations and legal matters, however, no action was taken following executive session.

In other matters, the board will meet next month on Nov. 15, one week later than the normally scheduled meeting on the second Monday of the month.

In other business, the board:

• approved a contract with Kelly Phillips to provide speech services remotely.

• OK’d Gail Phillips as a classroom and bus aide for 2021-22.

• voted for the following one-year supplemental contracts for 2021-22: Cory Sidle, assistant varsity wrestling; Rob Bennett, junior high head wrestling; Tyler Martin, junior high assistant wrestling; and Kirsten Kime, freshman basketball cheerleading.

• approved the use of school facilities on the following dates: Oct. 13, FCA Fields of Faith; Oct. 31, junior class fundraiser; and Dec. 12, band and chorus winter concert.

• OK’d an amendment to the middle school handbook concerning the dress code.

• voted for the first reading of NEOLA policies as presented.

• accepted the following donations: $1,800 from the Margaret Ludeker estate to the general fund for the elementary library; $273 from Zoetis to the FFA fund; and $118 from Bill’s Locker Room to the band fund.

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