After much discussion, the Elk Lake School Board approved a preliminary 2015-16 school year budget of $20,126,000 on Tuesday, May 19, that will see taxes go up slightly in Wyoming County and drop a little in Susquehanna County.
If approved next month, property taxes in Wyoming County will go up 2.02 mills to 46.76, while they will drop one-tenth of a mill in Susquehanna County to 39.32.
One mill represents $1 of property tax for every $1,000 of assessed value.
The budget was approved with the understanding that the administration will be attempting to cut as many items as possible before the June 25 school board meeting, Superintendent Ken Cuomo said.
Board secretary Lori Evans noted that there is a shortfall of approximately $900,000 at this time. The board approved a transfer of $412,000 from the pension reserve fund.
Two special education teachers were hired for the Extended School Year summer program: Karen Cooper and Kelly McCauley. Terri Bennett was hired as a special education summer program associate.
A settlement agreement was reached for $13,500 in compensatory education for a special education student. Policy 819, “Suicide prevention policy,” was adopted.
In addition to previously hired students, Madeline Spila and Seth Tewksbury were added to the 2015 summer student worker list.
Several items on the agenda were tabled until a later date: a permission to post a 9-month secretary position; permission to post associate’s position, and a permission to post a first shift full-time maintenance position.
Supply bids were awarded as follows: a 2015 office paper bid was awarded to Expedx for $23.70 per case; 37 different janitorial supply items which were advertised had bids awarded to a list of vendors.
Two tax exonerations for individuals over 65 were approved.
The 2015-2016 Interview Committee was formed of volunteers from each faculty or staff group. For elementary teachers, Leslie Foster, Ryan Keeney, Brenda Spadina, and Katherine Pierson were chosen. For secondary teachers, Dr. Thom Kotch, Darren Garges, and Kathleen Amabile will be on the interview committee. Support staff interview committee members will include Marcia Mosier and Patsy Gesford; Associate interview committee members will include Ruth Hunsinger and Sandy Rinker; Maintenance interview committee will include Carl Hoffman and Jerry Henry; and Cafeteria interview committee members will include Barb Lance and Donna Waldenberger.
Two persons were hired for sports/activity positions: for girls varsity basketball coach: Alicia Traver; and for assistant drama director for fall and spring plays, Rita Edwards.
Harold Bender was again assigned the school board treasurer position. He was also appointed as the SCCTC school board treasurer.
The SCCTC school board will approve its 2015-16 operating budget on June 25. No preliminary budget is presented at the board meeting as its revenues are based on the contributing schools which send students to the career center.