The Pine River-Backus School Board held its annual reorganizational meeting Monday, Jan. 4, followed by its regular monthly meeting.

Changes made were mostly small to reflect decisions discussed at other board meetings.

In December, the board chose to separate the clerk/treasurer position into two positions as recommended by Minnesota School Board Association guidelines. As a result, the board had to designate the salary for the divided positions ($200 a month for each now) and amend the list of approved board members who can make deposits to no longer include the "clerk" title.

The board also needed to appoint members to both positions. Board member Wanda Carlson was nominated and appointed as clerk and board member Katy Botz was appointed as treasurer.

Appointments also included the chair position and vice chair. Chris Cunningham was appointed chair once again with a 5-1 vote (Botz was opposed), and Ryan Trumble was elected vice chair unanimously.

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Other than splitting the clerk and treasurer position and setting those two salaries, other board salaries remained the same at $200 a month for chair and $175 a month for remaining board members, plus $100 a month for committee meetings.

The board made the following annual appointments:

  • Official newspaper: Pineandlakes Echo Journal.
  • Official depositories: Pine River State Bank, Minnesota School District Liquid Asset Fund.
  • Memberships: Minnesota School Board Association, Central Minnesota Educational Research and Development Council, Sourcewell, Minnesota State High School League, Cass County Economic Development Corporation, Pine River Chamber of Commerce, National School Board Association National Affiliate Program and Minnesota Rural Education Association.

  • Legal counsel: Kennedy and Graven.

The board also lowered the mileage reimbursement to match the IRS standard of 56 cents per mile, or 28 cents per mile if using a personal vehicle when a school vehicle is available.

Travis Grimler may be reached at 218-855-5853 or Follow him on Facebook and on Twitter at