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PENNS MANOR: Timeline likely to change for district gas line project

by on June 30, 2013 2:49 AM

KENWOOD — The new gas line project for the Penns Manor Area School District most likely won’t be ready in time for this year’s heating season, the district’s superintendent told board members Thursday.

Thomas Kakabar said it doesn’t look like the line will be in place by the time that was originally thought due to Columbia Gas running into a couple of issues internally, “which is going to delay the project.”

“It looks like it’s still going to be a go, but more than likely the timeline’s going to change,” Kakabar said after Thursday’s meeting. “We’re a little bit disappointed but we’re still positive because it’s going to happen; it’s just probably going to be delayed a year.”

He also said the cost of the project is probably going to increase because of an unexpected part that Columbia will need to put in, but didn’t know the exact amount.

Construction of the line was quoted at $329,303.56 at March’s board meeting, with the line paying for itself in about 2ᄑ years at that cost.

Senate Bill 739 is being considered in Harrisburg to help public facilities access natural gas, he added, and if it goes through, the district may be able to take advantage of it.

“We’re hoping that if that gets approved, I think there’s going to be $10 (million) or $15 million available throughout the state that if our project’s ready to go and we’re at that phase, that we’ll be able to get some assistance,” he said.

Kakabar added that they will fund up to 50 percent of any given project through that Senate bill, “so we have our fingers crossed there that the timing’s right that we can possibly get approved for that grant if it goes through.”

The school district had looked at alternative heating methods since late last year into early this year, 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 that 2ᄑ-year period. For the time being, the board awarded a fuel consortium bid on Thursday to Christoff Mitchell Petroleum out of Philipsburg for 65,000 gallons of fuel (heating) oil at a firm price per gallon for one year at $3.0460 per gallon, with the quantity pending the district’s conversion to the natural gas line.

It also awarded fuel consortium bids to Christoff Mitchell Petroleum for 21,000 gallons of gasoline at DTN or OPIS rack price with a $0.15000 per gallon markup for Bid #2, 89 octane, on the day of delivery, and 37,000 gallons of diesel fuel at DTN or OPIS rack price with a $0.06500 per gallon markup on the day of delivery.

In other action Thursday, the board:

• Approved extended support agreements with ASCC for the Vodavi Telephony System at $5,279 annually and Rauland Intercom System at $4,603 annually for Monday through June 30, 2014, with no increase from last year’s agreement.

• Approved the summer cafeteria adult meal prices as $3 per adult lunch and $1.50 per adult breakfast. Breakfast and lunch will be provided from June 24 to July 19, and lunch only from Aug. 12-23.

• Appointed Dr. David Sparks as the school’s dentist for the 2013-14 school year at $1 per exam.

• Approved Clymer Family Medicine as the school physician for 2013-14 at $30 per physical performed for the year, an increase of $5 per physical from last year.

• Approved a contract with Citizens’ Ambulance Inc. for $2,550 for all home football game standbys, an increase of $300 from last year due to one extra event, as well as coverage for the enrolled student body while on school premises or participating in school activities between Monday and June 30, 2014, with extra services being $75 per hour.

• Retained Michael Reilly as the district’s athletic director for one year starting Monday through June 30, 2014, contingent on the completion of a contract between Reilly and the board.

• Accepted, with regret, the resignations of J. Mark McClain as the girls’ softball head coach, Mark Ritzer as the girls’ softball assistant coach and E. Frederick Mitchell as the boys’ track and field head coach, effective immediately, and granted the administration permission to post and advertise for the positions if necessary.

• Accepted the resignation of Barbara Thornton as the district’s assistant varsity coach, granting the administration permission to post and advertise for the position if necessary, and hired Thornton as the head varsity volleyball coach at a salary of $3,551.10 effective at the start of the 2013-14 season.

• Approved Cheryl Blystone and Gary Reed as additional bus drivers/substitutes for Tri-County Transportation until the approval of the 2013-14 school year driver’s list.

• Elected David Kudlawiec as the secretary of the Penns Manor Area School District School Directors for a four-year term, starting Monday, with compensation of $200 a month.

• Granted permission to the administration to post and advertise, if necessary, for one nine-month high school secretary/receptionist B, two cleaners, one 2.5-hour cafeteria monitor and two 3.5-hour cafeteria employees.

• Granted the administration permission to advertise for professional vacancies for the 2013-14 school year as deemed necessary by the board.

• Approved an annual subscription renewal with Leader Services for IEPWriter.com, Children Count and 504 Plan for a period starting Monday through June 30, 2014, at $5,612, an increase of $292 from last year.

The renewal will be purchased with ACCESS funds.

• Approved the Accelerated Reader renewal with Renaissance Learning Inc. for the period starting Monday through June 30, 2014, at $3,095, an increase of $607 from last year.

• Granted permission for the high school band, grades 7-12, to travel and perform for the public inside Disney World, tentatively scheduled from April 12 to April 17, 2014, at no cost to the district.

• Rescheduled the August board meetings from Aug. 1 and Aug. 8 to Aug. 8 for the committee meeting and Aug. 15 for the regular board meeting.



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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