KUSD OKs solar deal, solicits McMullen replacement

JAMES CHILTON/Miner<br /><br /><!-- 1upcrlf2 -->Superior Court Judge Rick Williams conducts the swearing in of Kingman Unified School District Board members Bill Goodale, Charles Lucero and Jeri Brock at the district�s first board meeting of the year Tuesday evening.

JAMES CHILTON/Miner<br /><br /><!-- 1upcrlf2 -->Superior Court Judge Rick Williams conducts the swearing in of Kingman Unified School District Board members Bill Goodale, Charles Lucero and Jeri Brock at the district�s first board meeting of the year Tuesday evening.

KINGMAN - Judge Rick Williams conducted the swearing in of the new Kingman Unified School District Governing Board Tuesday evening, including incoming member Jeri Brock and returning incumbents Charles Lucero and Bill Goodale. Shortly thereafter, board members reappointed Pat Carlin as the board's president, naming Lucero the vice president.

Board members then set about the task of figuring out how to fill the board's newest vacancy, which was created late last week by the unanticipated resignation of Terri McMullen, who cited work commitments as her reason for quitting the board.

Members agreed to solicit letters of interest accompanied with a brief resume from anyone interested in filling McMullen's seat.

Those letters and resumes must be submitted to the district office at 3033 MacDonald Ave. no later than 5 p.m. Friday, Jan. 14, to be considered. Applicants may also e-mail their letter and resume to board secretary Nancy Slone at nslone@kusd.org. One received, board members may recommend up to three qualified applicants to Superintendent of Schools Mike File, who will then make a final decision.

On the agenda proper, board members voted 4-0 to approve allowing the district to enter into a land-lease agreement with UniSource Energy Services to pursue the installation of a 1.2 megawatt solar installation on up to 12 acres of the La Senita Elementary School site. But the vote came only after UNS's director for renewable resources, Carmine Tilghman, addressed a number of the board's concerns.

Tilghman explained that, while UniSource could opt to build its renewable facilities elsewhere, the company hoped to give back to the community by providing a facility for district students to use as a tool to learn about how solar energy is transformed into electricity.

He added that, while construction of the facility would take about 270 days - necessarily bleeding over into the school year - the construction itself would be relatively quiet and unobtrusive, taking place mainly on the most northerly portion of the property, away from the school itself.

Brock asked whether the educational aspect of the solar installation would be addressed during the construction itself or pushed years down the road. Tilghman replied that UniSource planned to coordinate with the school and district as soon as it could and had no intention of "looking way down the road" for that component of the project. He also assured board members that, once completed, the solar installation would require little maintenance, with school staff likely to see cleaners maybe once per quarter.

Tilghman added that it was still too early to answer some questions, however, such as whether or not nearby neighbors objected to the plan or what the La Senita site council had to say about the project. He explained that the governing board's vote on Tuesday would merely authorize UniSource to begin pursuing the project, including setting up meetings with parents and going to the city for the appropriate zoning permits.

"The first step is first," he said.

Goodale made the motion to approve the land-lease agreement, with Brock seconding. The motion passed unanimously.