2009-04-23 / Front Page

Central Fulton OKs Tax Assistance Program

District purchases AlertNow emergency notification services
By Chanin Rotz-Mountz

Five months following a decision by the Fulton County Board of Commissioners to enact a countywide tax assistance program, members of the Central Fulton School Board moved forward with approving the resolution on a district level that will allow for tax breaks for improvements to deteriorating industrial, commercial and other business oriented properties.

Hearing the recommendation of the district's Budget and Finance Committee last Tuesday, on an 8-0 roll-call vote, the board unanimously approved the Local Economic Revitalization Tax Assistance (LERTA) resolution for a period of five years. Board member Parker Knepper was unable to attend the April 14 meeting.

Commissioners Bonnie Mellott Keefer, Daniel Swain Jr. and David Hoover II had previously adopted the resolution on November 18, 2008, in hopes of "improving the condition and size of the labor force" and "stimulate existing business employment conditions as well as create new work positions."

The tax assistance portion of the resolution states exemption from taxes will be limited to the additional assessment valuation attributable to 100 percent of the actual cost of improvements to the deteriorated property for the first two years. The percentage of exemption will be reduced by 25 percent each following year, until the property owner is back to paying the property's full assessed value in the sixth year.

In other finance-related issues addressed last week, the board approved extending participation in the Keystone Opportunity Zone for unoccupied parcels. The extension will span seven years beginning January 1, 2011.

A bid submitted by Metz & Associates LTD of Dallas, Pa., was accepted for the food service agency to continue providing cafeteria-related services to the district. The bid included management fees in the amount of $23,700 as well as a guaranteed loss totaling $221,677.86.

Student and teacher meals are slated to increase during the upcoming school year. As a fol- low-up motion to approving the continuation of services by Metz & Associates, the board followed a recommendation by the Budget and Finance Committee and upped student meals by 10 cents and 35 cents for adult meals effective 2009-10.

The district will continue its membership in Blendedschoolsnet for the 2009-10 school year at a cost of $11,000. The cost, according to reports, will remain at the same level as the current school year and includes membership for 200 users needing blackboard and online courses.

In an annual motion, the board announced it will be accepting bids for shop and maintenance supplies to be utilized during the upcoming school year.

Prom advisor Pat Decker was placed on the 2008-09 extracurricular activity scale last Tuesday and is accordingly slated to receive $760 for her duties. In addition, Jessica Dovey and Jordan Hess were authorized to serve in a volunteer capacity as assistant track coaches.

Following the recommendation of the Budget and Finance Committee, the board accepted the 2009-10 Behind The Wheel student driving instructional course offered by teacher Greg Hays. As indicated in the contract, Hays, an independent contractor, will receive $204 per student from the school and will collect $50 from each participating student and turn that money over to the district.

In connection with Hays providing six hours of instruction behind the wheel along with the 30 hours of classroom learning, the students will be eligible for reductions in their auto insurance. In addition, the school will be eligible to receive a state reimbursement of $35 per student.

On a follow-up motion, the board agreed to pay $16.50 per student for completion of required student paperwork for the course.

The Tuscarora Intermediate Unit #11 general operating budget in the amount of $2,955,073 was approved with the district's share equating to $3,554 for Instructional Material Services. The district is also required to pay assessed costs for the use of supplemental services ranging from physical therapy and vision to psychology.

The board entered into a contract with AlertNow, which will provide emergency notification services to the district. The system has the capability to deliver up to 6,000 voice, e-mail and text messages to parents and staff. Central Fulton has opted to obtain the basic service with attendance feature for $2.25 per student effective July 1, 2009.

Curriculum

Approval was given accepting the proposed 2009-10 school calendar as presented.

Teacher Val Alexander will be taking 220 students to the Kerper Tract in Big Cove Tannery on Wednesday, April 22. There are not any district costs associated with the trip.

Approximately 48 members of Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) will be accompanied to Hershey Park by teachers Kathy Kendall and Jessica Fish on Monday, June 1. The trip will be taken at no additional cost to the district.

Kendall and Fish will also be taking a total of 96 students from the Class of 2009 to Hershey Park on Friday, May 8. The lone cost to the district will be for transportation.

Building and grounds

A request submitted by Mc- Connellsburg resident Robert Koontz on behalf of Mc- Connellsburg Post 561 baseball team was accepted. In turn, the team, which is comprised of players from all three county school districts, will be able to use Central Fulton's baseball field between May 22 and July 11 for a total of 11 games with a 7 p.m. start time.

The board noted in approving Koontz's request that the district's sporting activities take precedence when scheduling. Koontz concluded the team would pay the costs associated with lighting the field during the seven-week period.

Personnel

Instructional aide Elaina Buterbaugh will take maternity leave utilizing both sick and personal days in accordance with the Family Medical Leave Act.

Meanwhile, first-grade teacher Leslie Nesbitt will begin her unpaid leave of absence beginning May 4. Nesbitt tentatively plans on returning to work the final two weeks of school with written permission from her doctor.

Transportation

Shade Gap resident Rebecca Tower and Amanda Fleck of Shirleysburg were added to the substitute bus/van driver list pending the receipt of all necessary credentials and clearances.

Meanwhile, Tiffany Lynch of Waterfall, will be added to the substitute van driver list pending the receipt of clearances, while David P. Shearer, Doylesburg, was placed on the substitute bus driver list. Shearer's clearances are in order.

Pending the submission of credentials and clearances, Mc- Connellsburg resident Wade Mellott will be added to the list of substitute bus drivers.

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