Elk Lake adopts budget

BY STACI WILSON

Elk Lake School Board approved the district’s 2011-12 $17.4 million budget at its Thursday, June 23, meeting.

The operating budget for the upcoming year is about $1/2 million less than this year’s budget.

With a district that draws students from two counties, the board also set the tax rates – with no increase – for both Susquehanna and Wyoming counties.

In Susquehanna County, property owners will be assessed at 35.83 mills.

In Wyoming County, the millage rate is 44.250.

District property owners and residents approved to receive the homestead/ farmstead exclusion will also see a reduction of just over $160 off their tax bills – nearly the same amount as in 2010.

The board also approved expenditures, as recommended by architect John Kropcho for the Susquehanna County Career and Technology Center expansion project.

Of the funds approved by the board $255,000 is to go to the project’s general contractor and about $9,000 was needed for concrete inspection services.

The district also plans to extend the road at the current parking lot beside the elementary school.

The drive will go down to the gas road, said Superintendent Bill Bush, and around the pavilion.

He said the plan would make it so buses would not have to turn around and cars and vans dropping off students won’t be going back out in front of the buses.

The district is advertising for bids for that paving project.

The board expects the project to be completed after Labor Day.

The board also approved a $46,800 payment to fix a water leak into the underground fuel tank at the elementary school.

Bush said the sump on the top of the tank had shifted and water seeped into the tank.

“The tank is okay,” he said.

Bush noted the district wanted to prevent water from getting into the tank again.

The superintendent said the project needs to be done as quickly as possible. He made clear the problem was water getting into the fuel; not fuel in the water.

“It’s a simple but serious thing,” Bush said.

Money for the project will come from the school’s capital reserve account.

The board received a petition to name the pavilion after softball coach Tony Blaisure.

A letter was also received from local senior centers asking for the board’s continuing support for allowing students in the Life Skills class to come to the senior centers.

The board hired Tom Koch as a chemistry/middle school math teacher.

Sandra Carr was hired for the position of business office secretary.

The board also made its annual appointments of various professional services.

The bond for the board treasurer was approved for $50,000.

Murphy & Dougherty were named auditors.

Sweet, Stevens, Katz & Williams LLP were named as the solicitors for the district.

The board approved 15 appointments to coaching and adviser positions; and 10 coaches/advisers were on the docket to receive extended season pay.

The student handbook was approved and will now be included in the student planner.

Prior to the start of the business meeting, the board heard a proposal from Hates Large, an architectural firm from the Harrisburg area.

Representatives from the group described the services the company offers and asked the district consider them for any future projects – large or small – in the schools.