2012-04-26 / Local & State

S. Fulton Holds Lengthy Meeting

Decisions made on transportation route, food service provider and energy savings
By Chanin Rotz-Mountz

The Southern Fulton School Board tended to a lengthy agenda last Tuesday evening, tackling issues surrounding retirements and resignations, transportation routes and the future of the district’s cafeteria services.

Under personnel, the board accepted a trio of resignations from employees including that of sixth-grade teacher Marjory Leese; elementary boys basketball coach Keith Potter; and varsity girls basketball coach Mark Mellott.

In a follow-up motion, the board agreed to advertise for the vacant positions of elementary boys basketball coach, varsity girls basketball coach, junior high head soccer coach and junior high assistant soccer coach. Superintendent Kendra Trail noted that the junior high head soccer coach position is currently held by Brian Mottern, who has indicated he won’t officially turn in his letter of resignation until a viable candidate is found. In addition, the junior high assistant soccer coach job has never been filled due to lack interest.

Pending the submission of necessary paperwork, Brittany Douglas and Caroline Binder were approved to serve as substitute teachers. Meanwhile, Charles Conley was approved as a substitute custodian.

A contract was penned with CAMCO, which will provide physical therapy services for the upcoming 2012-13 school year at an hourly rate of $60. The superintendent stated it was not an option for the company to provide the necessary services at the school. Therefore, the district will continue to transport off-site for another year.

Student recognition entailed a presentation by Scholastic Scrimmage advisor Justin Sholes and several student members. Team members currently include captain Steven Meyer, Sean Bright, Noah Hykes, Noah Smartt, Jordyn Rider, Macy Crouse, Christina Bright, Chelsey Lanehart, Kelsey White and Brianne Wawro.

The group is currently scheduled to participate in two national Scholastic Scrimmage events during May to be held in Harrisburg and Atlanta, Ga. In order to attend the event down south, the group will be flying, which is funded in its entirety through a group fundraiser.

Elementary students will be permitted to participate in the annual Camp Joy-El Released Time Program next year. In addition, students enrolled in kindergarten through second grade will garten through second grade will be eligible to participate in the Child Evangelism Fellowship Bible Release Program during the 2012-13 school year.

Physics and advanced physics students are slated to travel to RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C., before shuttling to the Washington Convention Center on April 27 for the U.S. Science and Engineering Festival.

The superintendent was granted permission to attend the TIU Superintendent Planning Retreat scheduled for May 21 and 22 in Harrisburg. Board member Danny Crouse voted against Trail’s participation at the event during a 7-1 roll-call vote. Fellow member Tim Hull was not in attendance at the April 17 meeting.

A cooperative sports agreement was severed with neighboring Everett School District in crosscountry. The agreement was terminated effective immediately as per approval by PIAA. Trail said the decision was made based on the fact if the joinder continued the district would be required to bump up a level to “moderate class.”

Financial matters addressed on April 17 included the approval of a resolution of acceptance for the Real Estate Tax Installment Payment Plan.

Metz Inc. was selected as the district’s food service provider for the 2012-13 school year at a guaranteed loss of $146,872.74. Crouse and Dale Sigel voted against the selection. The board was questioned on the matter by local resident Daniel Peck, who announced he had heard two request for proposals (RFPs) had been submitted. Peck added that after being out bid, Metz later agreed to match the lower amount quoted by the company now identified as The Nutrition Group.

Peck further asked the board what would happen in the event the same tactic was used to secure a transportation route. Moving on to the topic of transportation, the administration opened four RFPs before the board for special van/vehicle transportation. Those submitting RFPs included Travis Fogal, M&C Lumber Co. and Snyder Bus Line. The route’s current contractor, D&K Transport, turned in an envelope containing a blank piece of paper.

The board unanimously accepted the lowest RFP from Snyder Bus Line at a cost of $1.24 per mile for regular vans; $1.49 per mile for handicapped vans; $1.89 per mile for a minibus; and $7.25 per hour for layover time between July 1, 2012, and June 30, 2019.

Since last Tuesday’s meeting, though, the board convened again on Friday, April 20, for a special meeting to further discuss its decision to award the RFP to Snyder Bus Lines. The issue at hand was whether Snyders would be allowed to park its vehicles on district property as was outlined in their RFP.

According to minutes from the special meeting, a motion was made by Crouse and seconded by Sigel to allow Snyder Bus Line LLC to park vehicles on district property during the length of the contract. The motion failed to pass on a 1-7 roll-call vote. Sigel was the lone member in agreeance. Tentative reports from the district indicate Snyder is planning to move forward with the contract but will be parking its vehicles off-site.

Returning to the topic of building and grounds and possible improvements, the board agreed to advertise for request for qualifications in connection with a proposed guaranteed energy savings project. In the event the district agrees to pursue the project, Superintendent Trail said lighting upgrades would be addressed in both facilities. However, most of the upgrades are projected to occur at the high school, which would see a new HVAC system and windows.

Trail told the “News” a timeline in the matter “would be hard to tell,” but they are are hoping to give a nod of approval to an energy savings company at the board’s May meeting.

The board went on to discuss the possibility of a renovation at the high school, but no official action was taken.

The second reading of Policy 113, Programs, Special Education was approved on a 6-2 roll-call vote, with David Smith and Allen Morton dissenting.

As requested last month, the district will be submitting policies related to tobacco use on district property to Debbie Hiller at Fulton County Center for Families. Policy approval was required in order for the district to receive pertinent signage from the Young Lungs At Play program.

A resolution was adopted as suggested by the Pennsylvania Association of Rural and Small Schools to address the recent shift in financial responsibility from the state to local taxpayers.

The board took action on official board meeting minutes, dated March 20, which passed on a 7-1 rollcall vote. Crouse voted against the minutes as well as the minutes from the March 29 special meeting for transportation purposes. Fellow board members Sigel and Sam Souders also voted against the minutes of the special meeting.

Crouse and Sigel went on to cast a dissenting vote on the district’s monthly payment of bills.

The board conducted a 20-minute executive session during the board’s work session to discuss a variety of issues, including real estate. Meeting with the board behind closed doors were several individuals, including Judy Neil from Phantom Fireworks. Crouse and Sigel voted against going into the closed-door session.

A second executive session was then held at the conclusion of the regular meeting to again discuss real estate and personnel. Crouse dissented during the roll-call vote to go into executive session, which ended nearly 70 minutes later.

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