Elk Lake to limit tax hike

BY PAT FARNELLI

Elk Lake’s school board met Thursday, and resolved not to raise taxes in excess of a state Department of Education index set at two percent.

However, there was much discussion over the decline in government funding, which has dropped about $500,000 since the 2008-9 school year.

Bids were awarded for excavation for the Susquehanna County Career and Technology Center’s third house to be built by students, as well as a new pavilion for the school district.

The board voted to award the low bid for the excavation of house, which was submitted by Bob Clark and Sons Excavating, Inc. of Mehoopany, for $13,174. Four other companies submitted bids. Some bids have been received for the house’s foundation. Discussion on them was tabled until the February meeting.

A  recently advertised Culinary Arts position was filled by the hiring of Jill Weidmeier for a salary of $50,300. The board approved the hiring of a number of substitute teachers.

A special meeting is to be held Thursday, Jan. 27, at 7 p.m. to go over documents for the Community Economic Development Community Debt Act regarding the SCCTC proposed expansion. In the case of inclement weather causing a snow day or early closing, the meeting will be held at night of the next available school day.

The board approved a resignation request from Brandy. C. Stone, who was a junior varsity boys volleyball coach.

Cheyanne Brown was hired as a one-on-one temporary associate, to work with a special education student. Gina Damm was hired as a temporary food service worker.

Elementary school principal Charles Pirone apologized that the school sign has not been changed since it welcomed students back from the Christmas holidays. He said he has attempted to update the sign, but that the sign is frozen, with the glass frozen to the letters, and the message will have to remain that way until it thaws.

He said the grandparent program will restart in March, and that Foresight testing is underway.

Junior high principal Mallery noted that the Forensics Team is doing very well, and that advisor Keith Brosious was recognized with a National Forensics League Diamond Award, given to only 15 coaches out of 2,800 participating schools in the United States.

Quiz Bowl will be held next Wednesday, with seventh and eighth graders competing.

Business manager Kim Hollister reported that the rates for open swim in the Elk Lake pool have been raised to $2, and that she felt the board needed to be aware of the fee hike and approve it. She said the increase occurred over the summer, when the open swim was from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., and was because of the longer hours and desire to fairly compensate the lifeguards. There was some discussion on the matter, and board member Eric Emmerich said that he thought the fee should be kept at $1. The board voted to keep the fee at the original rate.

The bid for the new pavilion’s prefabricated foundation was awarded to Superior Wall, at $6,615.

Both school boards, in observance of National School Board week, were thanked for their dedication and commitment.

During visitor comments, Carol Marbaker said, “I think Elk Lake needs to congratulate the Scholastic Bowl team which competed a few weeks ago on Channel 44. They made me proud.”

The Scholastic Bowl Team, advised by Jeff Horvath, will be going to a different competion in Waverly.

About monies received by the district from gas well royalties, Hollister said that the last royalty check received was for approximately $50,000.

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