From the Desk of Fr. Gerard Hiland

The underground fuel oil tank at St. Louis School has worn out. It is my understanding that this is the original tank that was placed under the parking lot in 1956. We have installed a temporary tank to get us through the winter.

We are working closely with the fire department, state Environmental Protection Agency and several companies to replace the fuel tank. This summer, we will dig up the parking lot and remove the old tank. After meeting with the EPA, we believe that the tank was placed in good old Clermont County clay, so any spill has been contained. Somebody was thinking ahead over fifty years ago when they installed the tank. We will remove the tank and any clay or soil that has fuel oil in it. I am told that there is a new generation of underground tanks and we are looking into purchasing one.

The St. Louis Building and Grounds committee is studying whether to continue with the boiler and fuel oil, or to install a new propane heating system. We are trying to determine the best and most cost-effective way to proceed. We are working closely with state and local officials.

With the temporary fuel oil tank we do not anticipate losing any school days. The temporary system is working fine. But, these next few months will be the time to decide on and install a new system. This will cost money. Our preliminary estimate is fifty to seventy-five thousand dollars. We may need to do a fund drive.

Over the past five years, we have restructured St. Louis School to meet the needs of today’s families. Our first goal is a faith-based education with high academic achievement. We have also expanded into after-school, pre-school and summer programs. We are also developing our school to help children and families with special needs. We plan for St. Louis School to grow and change to meet the needs of our families, and to be here for a long time to come. The new heating system will be an investment in the future.

New Year Blessings,
Fr. Jerry Hiland

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