Manila School Board awards farm contracts
David Wildy met with the Manila School Board at the Jan. 15 meeting regarding farm contracts. Wildy and his family have farmed some of the district's land for almost 40 years. A proposal to combine the district's newly acquired acreage with other land Wildy farms was the topic of discussion.
Superintendent Pam Castor presented a summary of the farm contract to the board.
Wildy said they have farmed the larger farm (500 acres) south of his headquarters since 1981.
“This is our 37th crop with the school,” he said. “When we started it was in 40 acre tracts, a lot of trees and pot holes. We made it a farm the school can be proud of.”
He went on to say they have cared for the district's land like it was their own. The newly acquired land is 110 acres in the Floodway. Out of the 110 acres 79 is tillable. Wildy proposed to pay $10,000 cash rent up front with an additional 20 percent bonus on good crop years.
In addition to the larger farm, Wildy also farms the 40 acres known as the Wells Farm located outside the levee.
For several years Wildy has made a cash payment on the District's land with an added percentage on good crop years. Every year since the agreement between the district and Wildy was established, the district has received additional payments.
With the $10,000 up front, the school would not be taking any risk. Wildy said he will pay the insurance.
“We have had a good working relationship through the years,” Wildy said. “You can be assured we will continue to treat the District's land like our own.”
He said they would relevel the tillable ground on the newly acquired acreage.
“I am open to any ideas and I am here to answer any questions you may have,” Wildy said.
Following a discussion, Superintendent Castor recommended the board accept Wildy's proposal and offer an eight year contract, reviewing it every three years.
The board voted unanimously 6-0 to award the contract to Wildy Farms.
Board members present included President Jeremy Jackson, Tracy Reinhart, Monte Middleton, Johnny McCain, Tommy Wagner and Danny Robbins.
Another farm contract for 48 acres of the District's land in the city limits was awarded to Scott Adams, on a one year lease with crop rent at 30 percent beans and 25 percent on other crops.
The board accepted a student transfer request for Cameron Broughman from Rivercrest.
Superintendent Castor reviewed the board training report. She said it has to be reviewed each year. Board members are mandated to have a minimum of six hours training each year. If a board member does not meet the requirements, he/she will receive a letter in January giving them 30 days to receive the training. If they do not get the hours, their board service is over.
She went on to say all Manila board members have met the requirements.
Following an executive session, the board voted unanimously to extend Superintendent Castor's contract for one year taking it through the 2019-2020 school year. Included in the motion was a two percent raise, retroactive for this year.
Castor presented three calendars for the 2018-2019 school year for the board to review before the next meeting. The calendars will be presented to the Personnel Policy Committee and the teachers will vote and then it will come back to the board for approval.
The next regular school board meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 15.