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PENNS MANOR AREA: Directors approve gas line extension

by on March 15, 2013 10:40 AM

KENWOOD — The construction of a natural gas line to service the Penns Manor Area School District is coming closer to fruition.

Board members on Thursday approved a line extension agreement with Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania for the construction of the line, which will provide gas to heat the district’s buildings and operate boilers. The district currently uses fuel oil.

Construction of the gas line will cost $329,303.56.

The gas line should pay for itself in about 2ᄑ years at that cost, Superintendent Thomas Kakabar said in January. The school district has looked at alternative heating methods over the past several months, including a biomass boiler that probably would have cost the district more than $1 million out of district funds.

With a natural gas line, the difference in savings is estimated at between $125,000 and $160,000 a year, which the district would start seeing after the 2ᄑ-year period.

The line would be on the school’s side, and people living along the gas line would be able to tap into it; “as a matter of fact, that’s a preference,” said board President Robert Packer.

“For anybody that taps in, we will get a credit” based on the amount of usage, he said. It was not clear how much the credit will be, or how many residents live along where the line will be constructed.

Solicitor Ronald Saffron said once the line is in, it will be the district’s responsibility to construct a line from the meter into the buildings. He said at some point, depending on the projected cost, the district will have to look at proposals for that.

Kakabar said following Thursday’s meeting that a start date for the construction has not yet been determined, but that the district is to hear from Columbia Gas sometime in April and that the board had to approve the agreement prior to that.

“Once they get formal approval in April, then we’ll be ready to get started,” he said.

Kakabar said in January that the district’s goal is to have the line in place before next winter.

Also Thursday, the board accepted several resignations due to retirement.

“We’re losing a number of good people. They will be tough to replace,” Packer said.

Resignations were accepted from Karen Adamson, an elementary learning support teacher who has been with the district since 1988; school nurse Mary Lou Emigh, since 1988; elementary teacher Cynthia Hutchins Long, since 2000; vocal music teacher Hazel Johnston, since 1994; elementary teacher Murray King, since 1980; elementary teacher William Kochinsky, since 1982; elementary teacher Carol Marcenzo, since 1982; Christine Michaels, elementary principal secretary, since 1993; high school English teacher Mary Pfeiffer Nycum, since 1976; high school business education teacher Michael Reilly, since 1981; district office secretary Osia Yackuboskey, since 1982; and high school learning support teacher Janice Yeager, since 1982.

All resignations are effective on the last day of the 2012-13 school year. Board member John Hardesty said those employees combined have served more than 300 years at Penns Manor.

The board tabled a motion for the resignation of Education Director Bonnie Davis, also due to retirement. Kakabar could not discuss those details.

The board also granted the administration permission to post and advertise, if necessary, for Michaels’ and Yackuboskey’s positions. Kakabar said no decisions “one way or the other” have been made yet as to whether the other positions will be replaced, but “right now we’re discussing all those types of things.”



Heather Blake is the wire editor and an assistant web editor for The Indiana Gazette. She covers courts, Saltsburg and Homer City borough councils and Penns Manor and United school districts, in addition to writing feature articles. She can be reached at hblake@indianagazette.net.
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