2012-10-31 / Local & State

Central Fulton Holds Special Meeting

County, school to receive payment in lieu of taxes from Tri-State
By Chanin Rotz-Mountz

NEWS EDITOR

The Central Fulton School Board convened last Thursday for a brief but important special meeting that saw a nod of approval given to its comprehensive plan as well as an agreement that ends the ongoing real estate tax dispute with a local healthcare provider.

The board unanimously approved the district’s comprehensive plan for submission to the Pennsylvania Department of Education. The binder-size plan is slated to begin July 1, 2013, and run through June 30, 2016, and was completed after much deliberation between staff and administrators.

In addition, the board agreed to revise Policy 227.1 that outlines the criteria for drug testing for extracurricular activities and student driving privileges. The newly amended document eliminates two paragraphs under the section entitled policy purpose, including that the district took into consideration data from the state Youth Survey in 2008 and 2010 that shows drug use doubled in certain grades.

Added to the policy’s guidelines is informed consent for testing and reasonable suspicion testing. According to the document, “at the beginning of the athletic season, extracurricular activity, or upon requesting driving privileges, students choosing to participate in these activities and their parents/guardians/custodians will have a urinalysis drug testing form made available to them. Those who do not want their student randomly tested, must sign, date and return the form to the principal or designee ... .”

Furthermore, “students who show observable signs of drug/alcohol symptoms will fall under Policy 227.”

Approval was also granted on October 25 for the purchase of new surveillance equipment to be used as a replacement to existing equipment at the middle school and high school facilities. Cost for the new equipment is $3,515.

As its final motion of the special meeting, the board agreed to accept payments in lieu of taxes (PILOT) from Tri- State Community Health Center. PILOT will be accepted for the taxing years 2011 through 2017 and lays to rest an ongoing civil suit involving the county, school and Tri-State dating back to June of 2011.

Tri-State maintained in original court filings with the Fulton County Court of Common Pleas that it is identified by the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue as a charitable organization, and the Department of Revenue has issued a sales and use tax certificate of exemption. In 2011, the property located along Fulton Drive was assessed at $656,400.

The case had been slated to be heard before Judge Richard J. Walsh in county court last Friday but was cancelled as a resolution had been reached between the parties. A copy of the approved PILOT agreement is not yet available to the “News” due to areas of the document requiring rewording.

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