Montrose Area appoints facilities director

BY PAT FARNELLI

A new director of facilities and transportation was appointed for the Montrose Area School District during Monday’s school board meeting.

Christopher Tripp will assume the administrative position, which supervises bus and other vehicle transportation as well as buildings and grounds, effective July 1.

Converting the school boilers to natural gas will be this summer’s major project.

School officials spoke of Ricky Clapper’s 45 years of service to the district and praised his resourcefulness and dependability. Clapper is retiring.

The proposed budget for the 2013-14 school year was briefly discussed. Superintendent Michael F. Ognosky said that while a deficit of about $263,000 remains, he expects to have more direction concerning revenue after the PARS board meeting Friday.

The preliminary budget is still the same as approved in May, totaling $23,955,002.
A special school board meeting June 27 will be held to finalize the budget.

Ognosky explained several new policies, and noted that one in particular might cause a stir. The policy will require all personal electrical appliances, such as microwaves, coffee makers, hot plates, etc. to be removed from the buildings and to not return in the fall.

“The School Claims Service, an insurance provider, is requiring us to do a regular risk analysis of the buildings, and we must have this addressed by June 17,” he said.

The board accepted the resignation of Jeremy Dibble as assistant football coach and junior high assistant basketball coach, effective immediately.

Ognosky said that Dibble graduated in 2012 and filled these positions. “He stepped into the breach for us, but now he is going to college, and I am happy for him,” Ognosky said.

Barry Wheaton was appointed as assistant golf coach for the fall sports season at the rate of $2,350.
A new policy concerning operations and relations with law enforcement agencies was approved for first reading. This policy requires a memorandum of understanding, and sets up the Gibson State Police as police coverage provider for the junior/senior high school and for ChoconutValley Elementary, and the Montrose Borough Police for the Lathrop Street Elementary.

A list of policies were approved for first reading of revisions, which Ognosky said all addressed conduct which requires reporting to state police and to the Office of State Schools.

The July 8 school board meeting and work session will be held at 7 p.m. at the Choconut Valley School.
The board approved raising the price of school lunches from $1.85 to $2 for regular lunches at both the elementary and secondary schools. The price for adult lunches has been raised from $3.50 to $4 effective the beginning of the school year.

Ognosky noted that the fund balance for the cafeteria has dropped more than 50 percent, and that current expenses as per new national standards have skyrocked food prices. The cafeteria here is self supporting: it is its own business.

“For every nickel we increase the price, we can generate $5,000 in income,” he said.