The Wallowa County Education Service District is close to paying off the Wallowa Valley Mall building it purchased from the Oveson brothers of Wallowa in August of 2002. ESD Superintendent Ed Jensen got permission from the ESD board of directors Monday evening to pay an additional $110,000 out of the contingency fund on the $162,000 still owed on the building.

Jensen anticipates paying off the $42,000 balance by the end of the fiscal year, or if money is not available then in early July.

During the short meeting 15 teacher contracts, for one year or two, were approved for either the 2003-2004 or 2003-2005 school years. Extended contracts with an agreed to salary freeze were Courtney Summers Lyman, Linda Wingo, Cindy Lukens, Kris Fraser, Susan Mickelson, Melany Crenshaw, Robin Martin, Nancy Crenshaw, Linda Bauck, Teresa Fisher, Birgit Suess, Sean Spear, Saralyn Johnson and Monica Royse. Because of funding issues which since have been resolved, the contracts of Sherry Easom and Julie Chrisman will be addressed by the board at the July meeting.

A quorum of board members including Chairman John Lawrence, Ernestine Kilgore, Ken Wick, Bob Williams and Marilyn Dalton adopted a $3,576,705 budget for the upcoming year.

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