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PURCHASE LINE: School directors plan slight tax increase

by on May 13, 2014 10:54 AM

PURCHASE LINE — The Purchase Line Board of Directors voted to approve a proposed budget for the 2014-15 school year Monday during a regular meeting at the high school.

Budget revenues are calculated at $17,593,644 and expenditures at $18,572,893. A fund balance of $979,249 will be used to balance the budget.

Indiana County residents will see a 0.78 mill increase — or $4.95 more a year — to 86.82 mills, while Clearfield County residents will see a 2.64 mill decrease. These rates are based on multi-county rebalancing. Real estate revenue collected is expected to be in the amount of $2,889,283. The budget will be available for public review. The board expects to vote on a final budget in June.

In other business, the board struck down a motion to open the head and assistant girls’ basketball coaching positions for the 2014-15 school year in a 4-3 vote.

The motion to open the position can be traced back to April when some district parents requested that the slots be opened after expressing their dissatisfaction with current head coach Rebecca Hudak’s coaching style and tactics. The motion to open the positions was tabled in May following a show of support for Hudak by district faculty and parents.

Hudak, who was in attendance during Monday’s meeting, declined to comment.

The board approved a motion that will see Purchase Line join the Indiana County Technology Center. The cost to the district will be $1,021,234, which is to be paid over 20 years in installments of $51,062.

Once a member, the district will see its tuition rates drop to member pricing retroactively to the 2013-14 school year. According to Superintendent Joseph Bradley, this would reflect a current-year member payment of $173,366, including the installment payment, versus a nonmember payment of $223,223.

Membership in ICTC will also give Purchase Line a seat on the board of the Joint Operating Committee, according to Bradley, and Bradley himself will become an official voting member on the Superintendent’s Advisory Council.

Purchase Line’s participation in the ICTC is dependent on approval by a majority vote by the current participating ICTC school districts.

Both the band field and the football fields have been completed, according to maintenance director Carl Jones. Jones thanked Hillsdale Construction of Cherry Tree for its work.

“We’ll continue monitoring the watering, fertilizing, et cetera,” he said.

In other business, the board approved:

• The hiring of John Zahorchak as business manager at a salary of $75,000.

• Applying for the Community Eligibility Provision program, which could bring free meals to all students in the district.

“Right now, it looks like it’s not going to be the right decision for us, but we at least have the ability to apply,” Bradley said.

Free meals are dependent on the number of students in the district who are directly certified to receive free meals through assistance programs such as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF).

“If we can get more families to be direct certified rather than paper applications, it makes sense,” Bradley said.

In other business, the board approved:

• To accept the Rev. Chris Massey of Kinport Assembly of God as the baccalaureate speaker. The baccalaureate service will be held June 10. Graduation will be held June 11.

• To accept the resignation of Isaac Solak as lunch monitor, effective June 10, and athletic director, effective June 30. The position will be posted immediately, according to Bradley.

• To accept the retirement of Burton Beatty from the maintenance department, effective June 27.

• The resignations of Stephanie Jobe, business office secretary, and Belinda Lambie, pep club adviser.

• Hiring James Lowe as a five-hour custodian at $9.64 an hour.

• Hiring Andrew Sleppy as a mathematics teacher for the Summer School Remediation Program.

• Hiring Tiffany DeStefano, Susan Leib, Diane Fenton and Andrea Perkovich as teachers for the Leap Into Learning Summer School Program.

• Hiring Sharon Hoffman and Jill McKinney as nurses for the summer school programs.

• Changing the 10-month print ship/federal programs secretarial position to a 12-month secretarial position.

• Awarding athletic trainer services for 2014-15 to Indiana Total Therapy for $37,500.

• Awarding the following fuel contracts for 2014-15: diesel fuel from Petroleum Traders Corp. and gasoline from Indiana Fuel and Oil Co.

• Appointing Kotzan CPA and Associates as school district auditor for $12,200 through June 30, 2014, $12,500 through June 30, 2015, and $12,875 through June 30, 2016.

• Awarding technology services to Cjaws, Inc., at $145,000 for 2014-15, $148,987 for 2015-16 and $152,712 for 2016-17.

• Contracting the Citizens’ Ambulance for $1,975 for 2014-15.

• Contracting Cummins Bridgeway for high school and elementary generator maintenance at $5,868.26 total for July 1 through June 30, 2019.

Jeremy Hartley is a staff writer for The Indiana Gazette.
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