Blue Ridge leases school land
BY STACI WILSON
Blue Ridgeleased nearly 50 acres of the district’s land to Southwestern Energy, adding $198,400 into the school coffers.
The board voted to sign the five-year lease agreement, presented as an addendum to the regular agenda, at the Monday, May 7 meeting.
The school district will receive 18 percent of royalties, according to the lease agreement.
The lease allows for drilling on district property. But a three-page addendum to the lease would keep any activity at least 500-feet away from any building, athletic facility or surveyed building lot on the campus without the district’s consent.
But the natural gas lease does not alleviate all ofBlue Ridge’s budget woes.
The finance committee will meet again, today, Wednesday, May 9, at5 p.m.to discuss the 2012-13 budget and transportation.
No discussion on budget matters or potential cuts took place at the board meeting.
Board members met in executive session prior to the Monday night meeting to discuss personnel and busing contracts, announced President Laurie Bonner prior to the start of the regular business session.
The board also met in a closed-door session after the meeting to discuss a student disciplinary matter.
Board members questioned the treasurer’s report and also the bill list.
Bonner questioned supplies ordered. “I’m not disputing the need for it. I’m just trying to look at the bills a lot closer than we have in the past.”
Harold Empett was reappointed by the board to serve as its treasurer at a salary of $1,500 per year.
The bond for the treasurer post was set at $15,000 – no change from the current amount.
People Neighborhood Bank, Pennstar, Salomon Smith Barney, PA Invest, PLGITm First Liberty Bank and Trust and First National Bank were set as depositories for school funds for 2012-13.
The board voted to rescind the long-term substitute rate adopted Feb. 6 and approved a memorandum of understanding with the district’s teachers’ union.
Superintendent Robert McTiernan said that after 90 days, long-term substitutes would be covered under the provisions of the collective bargaining unit.
A 30-day review period of the board policy for employment of substitute professional employees was opened.
McTiernan said proposed changes in the policy reflect the language adopted in the memorandum of understanding.
The board approved a daily mileage change for several bus routes. The changes reflect added stops or changes to bus runs during the winter.
The board also voted to rescind its policy that regulated booster organizations (#916) for activities and athletics in the district.
Gail Wnorowski was approved to act as the district’s Transition Coordinator, effective Aug. 27.
Blue Ridgeentered into the “Backpack Program” with CEO’s Weinberg Northeast Regional Food Bank.
The program is designed to meet the needs of children at risk for hunger by providing them with nutritious, easy to prepare food to take home on weekends and school vacations.
There is no charge to program participants and “backpacks” will be provided each week during the school year.
The high school band will be performing a concert, Wednesday, May 23, inMidtownPark,Main St., New Milford, at 6:30 p.m. The public is invited to attend this outdoor music event.