LEWISTOWN - Making no changes from the tentative budget passed in May, the Mifflin County School District Board of Directors on Thursday adopted the 2012-13 general operating budget in the amount of $63,438,258 that includes a tax increase of 2.1883 mills.
Also as it was in May, the board approved the measure by a 5-4 vote. Voting in favor of the spending plan were directors Dr. Ruth Armstrong, Beth Laughlin, Kristen Sharp, Mary Lou Sigler and Annemarie Swineford. Voting against were Walter Harpster, James Hurlburt, Travis Parkes and Kirk Rager.
Chief Financial Officer Sean Daubert said that with the tax increase, the budget will indicate a surplus of $496,000.
"Those funds can go toward capital expenses, increased pension costs or however the board sees fit," Daubert said.
The numbers haven't changed since May, Daubert said, because the district still has not received final word from the state as to what its 2012-13 basic education allocation will be. Budget negotiations were ongoing in Harrisburg as of Thursday.
In a related matter, prior to the vote, Hurlburt made a motion to amend the budget to state that no funds in the 2012-13 budget would be utilized to fund pay increases for any Act 93 employees beyond what was already put in the 2011-12 budget. Act 93 employees consist of individuals not governed by a contract, including administration, principals, confidential secretaries and technology staff. Following an executive session on the matter, the board voted down the amendment by a 6-3 margin. Voting against were Armstrong, Sharp, Sigler, Swineford, Laughlin and Parkes.
In other business Thursday, the board voted down a recommendation to re-appoint the law firm of Knepp and Snook as the district's solicitor for a term of one year starting July 1. Hurlburt said the firm would still be the district's solicitor until such time that another firm, if the board chooses to do so, is selected.
"I just think it's a good idea to solicit other proposals to see if we can get a better option," Hurlburt said.
Voting against the recommendation to retain Knepp and Snook were Hurlburt, Parkes, Rager, Sharp and Harpster. Harpster said the matter would be taken up during an executive session after the regular meeting was adjourned.
In other business, the board approved a recommendation to select Reynolds Construction to continue the process of looking into the particulars of the potential renovation project at Indian Valley Elementary School. After interviewing several firms, Superintendent James Estep said the selection committee's choice was Reynolds.
"This isn't saying we're going to enter into a contract," Estep reassured the board. "This is asking the company to provide an investment grade audit and then we could negotiate terms and conditions. I would anticipate the board needing to take another vote in late summer."
Estep added the audit would be performed at no cost to the district.
In other business, the board:
Approved the following tax resolutions for the 2012-13 fiscal year: Resolved, that there is levied by the Mifflin County School District a real estate tax of 30.9519 mills for the fiscal year 2012-13 upon the assessed value of all real estate within said district, this levy to be enacted at a rate of $30.9519 on each $1,000 of the assessed value of the property to taxed; Resolved, that there is levied by the Mifflin County School District a tax of $5 upon each resident or inhabitant of said district over the age of 18 for the 2012-13 fiscal year of the district; Resolved, that also levied is a resident tax of $5, a $10 flat rate local services tax, a one percent real estate transfer tax, and a 1.35 percent earned income tax.
Accepted the resignation of Barry Miller, custodian at Lewistown Intermediate School, effective June 29.
Hired Samuel Eddinger as a custodian at Lewistown Elementary School effective June 29.
Deleted Jeremy Fike from the custodian substitute list.
Approved the milk and bread bids for the 2012-13 school year.
Hired Emily Walker as a long-term substitute for the first semester or less of the 2012-13 school year as a kindergarten teacher at Strodes Mills Elementary School.
Hired Jenna Helwig as a long-term substitute for the 2012-13 year as a fifth grade teacher at Lewistown Intermediate School.
Hire Linda Letner as a comprehensive child care aide (autistic support) at Lewistown Intermediate School, effective Aug. 29.
Added Jamie Fisher to the custodial substitute list, effective June 13.
Eliminated final exams for students in Algebra 1 and up and Biology 1 and higher because those students already will be tested on that material in the Keystone Exams.
Approved a recommendation that the Tuscarora Intermediate Unit 11 provide human resources services to the Mifflin County School District for the 2012-13 fiscal year.
Elected Sean Daubert as school board treasurer for one year, effective July 1.
Approved the 2012-13 general supply bids in the amount of $158,746.86.
Hired Tracy Bastress to a part-time breakfast position at Mifflin County Middle School, effective Aug. 29.
Approved the AP English language and composition planned instruction classes for the 2012-13 school year.
Approved final furlough of an English teacher position for the 2012-13 school year due to continued declining enrollment.
Hired Jennifer Martain as a life skills teacher at Mifflin County High School effective Aug. 27.
Approved the contract for Occupational Therapist Assistant Supervisor Cynthia Heister at $60 per hour to supervise the COTA position for a minimum of 10 hours per month, completing all referral evaluations, treatment plans, goals and assessments, instructing and overseeing hands-on treatments when necessary.
Approved a recommendation to continue to use Make-It-Personal/Stroehecker Screen Printing and B's Screen Printing as vendors to supply merchandise for the Mifflin County High School Store for the next school year.
Rejected all bids received on June 21 for the Mifflin County Junior High School boiler replacement project and give approval to McKissick Associates to re-bid the project. Estep said the bids came in too high.
Approved the following change orders for the renovations to Mifflin County Middle School: $4236.57 to relocate and reinstall 64 lockers in order to ensure adequate locker space for all students.; a credit in the amount of $869 to install vinyl composition tile in lieu of carpet in the life skills classroom.
Hired JoAnn Carolus to a part-time cafeteria position at the Career and Technology Center, effective Aug. 29.
Accepted the resignation of Michele Spriggle, school nurse at Indian Valley Elementary School, effective June 7.
Accepted the resignation of Margaret Fisher, computer science teacher at Mifflin County High School, effective Aug. 24 due to a career advancement.
Hired Steven DeArment as head girls soccer coach for the 2012-13 school year.
Hired the following coaches for the next school year: Kierstin Walker, assistant cheerleading; Rachel Corson, junior high cheerleading; Seth Yearick, assistant cross country; Ashley Suydam, first assistant field hockey; Robert Lepley, first assistant boys soccer; David Purdy, junior high boys soccer; Jessica Smith, first assistant volleyball; Brett Leister, first assistant boys basketball; Mark Beck, head ninth grade boys basketball; Charles Funk, assistant eighth grade boys basketball; James Fosselman, first assistant girls basketball; Crystal Weaver, head ninth grade girls basketball; L. Dale Searer, first assistant wrestling; Joseph Eckenroth, assistant wrestling; William Shafranich, head junior high wrestling; Justin Shafranich, assistant junior high wrestling; Mark Cavanaugh, assistant junior high wrestling; Scot Sechler, assistant winter track; Collette Bender, head winter cheerleading; Travis Zook, head baseball; Jack McCurdy, head softball; L. Glenn Kyle, boys tennis; and Scott Gantz, head track and field.
Approved the following volunteer coaches for the next school year: Roy Bucher, volleyball; Emily McConnell, cross country; Daniel Waddell, boys soccer; Emily Walker, cheerleading; and Kylie Corson, cheerleading.
The Mifflin County School Board will hold a committee-of-the-whole meeting at 7:30 p.m. July 19 at the Mifflin County School District administration building at the corner of Eighth Street and Maple Avenue, in the Highland Park section of Lewistown.