• Sat. May 18th, 2024

No applicants forces school board considering robot

The Fulton Public School District board is considering leasing a Turf Tank One to paint various sports fields. The suggestion comes after the district has not had applicants for its open grounds person position.

“This robot technology has been around for a few years now, but it did not seem feasible at the time,” Superintendent Ty Crain wrote in a letter to the board. “However, with it becoming increasingly difficult to maintain our staffing numbers, this will greatly help to provide the services needed by the district, especially during the busiest time for the grounds crew.”

Under the proposed lease, the school district would pay USD 11,500 for the first year and USD 10,000 annually for five years. The contract does include a termination clause annually that can be enacted with 90-day written notice.

The district has two grounds people employed and has been looking for a third.

The crew maintains one game football field, one game soccer field, three practice football fields, one practice soccer field, and the baseball and softball fields.

However, not all need painting at the same time because it depends on when the sport is in season.

For instance, the soccer fields are maintained March through November and get painted about 25 times in that time. It also takes multiple people to paint the fields.

Crain estimates the district pays nearly USD7,000 annually in employee pay for field painting.

If the district leases the Turf Tank ONE robot, Crain estimates it will only take one staff member to supervise and the fields will need painted less often.

It would take the robot four to five hours to paint a football field, 30 minutes to paint a soccer field and 15 minutes per baseball or softball field.

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