BELLE — The Maries County R-2 School District has spent $55,963 in reimbursable COVID-19-related items said Superintendent Dr. Lenice Basham at the Sept. 29 school board meeting.
“These will be reimbursed through either the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) or through one of the counties,” Basham said.
A financial sheet was provided to show where the district’s funds were spent.
“We covered the summer school in June with COVID money and have been reimbursed for that. This is what we have done so far with COVID money,” Basham said.
New water stations were also part of the reimbursement funds.
“Maries and Gasconade counties have refunded us so far for the new water fountains,” she said. “The plan is to order a few more as soon as they come back in stock. Right now they are out of stock and we can’t get them.”
Director Tom Kinsey asked if the state would short-fund the district later because they used the money. Basham said she didn’t think so because it is federal money coming back in.
“That’s kind of where we are at this point, and I wanted you to see what we spent and where we are,” Basham said. “I will do an end-of-the-month reimbursement tomorrow (Sept. 29) on a couple of things to get that draw down from DESE.”
Among the items that will be part of the future reimbursement collection are six sanitation sprayers from Hillyard that Transportation Director Tony Gieck had on order since May and finally arrived in September.
“Show us your new toy,” Kinsey said to Gieck following the meeting.
Gieck said there are many sanitizing products now because of COVID-19, including the new Protexus Cordless Electrostatic sanitizer sprayer that the district was originally going to purchase at $825 a piece. However, they decided to go with a different brand.
“It’s an atomizer— if you see how fine of a mist that is,” Gieck said. “There is a disinfectant we use in here from Hillyard to stay wet on the surface for three minutes and it kills everything that is there.”
Gieck said the maintenance people and custodians were using hand pumps currently, but it creates too heavy of a residue and takes too long to dry.
“This is actually a Hillyard gun, similar to a Protexus, but Hillyard designed this and took it to market and it is $625,” Gieck said. “I ordered six guns to begin with, two for Bland, two for up here and two for the buses, but with the price drop, I got a seventh gun for the same amount of money that I was going to get six.”
Board President Joey Butler II commented that the sanitizer sprayer looked like a paint sprayer. Kinsey said he had questions about its use.
“My question is how you are going to use it,” he asked Gieck. “What kind of areas are we going to spray down? I know tables and doorknobs. What else?”
“You could spray an entire room,” Gieck said.
Basham said buses are a big thing.
“So when the buses come through of a morning you will go through and spray the seats down so they are ready for the afternoon?” Kinsey asked.
Gieck said the bus drivers will do that themselves and in the evenings when they come off the route they will do that again.
“Right now we are just using the hand pump sprayers. This runs off of a lithium-ion battery that runs for about four hours and they threw in two half-gallon backpack sprayers,” Gieck said. “If we get a confirmed case and you want to fog the whole building, I can send two of these in there and we can fog the whole building in less than an hour.”
Basham told the board the sprayers are on the district’s COVID reimbursement list, but they have to pay for them first and submit receipts.
“They are in such high demand, I’ve only got four right now,” Gieck said.
Kinsey told Gieck it sounds like it may be made of cheap plastic and they would really have to be careful with it. They will need to be monitored and inspected everyday.
“The only maintenance on it, they say, is to empty the reservoir every week and run water through it,” Gieck said. “The other thing with Hillyard is he told me today when they dropped that off, that if we have a problem with this, ‘we will send you another one atutomatically and you can put the old one in a box and ship it back to us.’”
Gieck said one bottle would sanitize between 800 and 900 square feet. After his bus route that afternoon, he sprayed down his bus and two others and only used half a quart.
“But a classroom would be about a quart,” Kinsey said.
Gieck agreed, adding that double classrooms would take even more.
“The disinfectant comes in what is called an arsonal container, in not quite a gallon jug and premixes everything that comes out,” Gieck said. “Today after using it, I am thinking I have got enough disinfectant to last almost to the end of the year.”
Kinsey asked if it discolors anything and Gieck said no.
“We did it in here before we came in for the meeting,” Basham said. “It disappears and there is no slime or residue.”
Gieck said the maintenance crew already had the first sprayer and put it in use first at the elementary school.
“I think it makes us more efficient,” Basham.
Kinsey said he thinks it will give people peace of mind.