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Monroe to move ahead with track project
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MONROE - The Monroe school district will move forward again with a project to resurface the high school track, aiming for this summer after last delaying the project in April 2015.

With the track installed in 2000, repairs have been delayed for several years. The surface should be replaced after 10 to 12 years, according to Tom Rufenacht, the district's building and grounds director.

"So we've gotten our dollars' worth," he said.

Rufenacht asked the school board's finance committee Monday to give him direction on the track project.

He said the track is a top priority among long-term maintenance projects.

It was not addressed in the referendum voters recently approved to pay for maintenance and safety projects, because a survey last year showed community members did not see the track as a high priority. So while the project will not be paid for using referendum funds, Business Administrator Ron Olson said the district still has its regular long-term maintenance budget to use.

School board treasurer Brian Keith said he wasn't ready to commit to the project so close to passing the referendum, given the lack of community support.

"But we would have a lot of negative input from our constituents were we to not have a track program," member Michael Boehme said.

Keith asked the board to take a straw poll on whether members want to do the project this summer. Keith and Mary Berger gave the project a thumbs down, while the rest of the present board members gave it a thumbs up, giving Rufenacht approval to start the process.

Rufenacht included the track project in the 2016-17 long-term maintenance budget at $90,000 and the 2017-18 budget at another $90,000. He said it would likely be completed over June, July and August.

The new surface should last another 10 to 12 years.

Board members Bob Erb and Amy Bazley were absent.