Peters School Board raises taxes

Published Jun 25, 2013 at 12:45 pm (Updated Jun 25, 2013 at 12:45 pm)

Property owners in Peters Township will see their school taxes jump by 1.7 mills after the school board voted June 24 to raise the taxes by the highest amount permitted without seeking permission from the state – 1.7 percent.

That means a tax payer who currently pays $2,000 annually in school taxes will see an increase of more than $50. Those paying $4,000 each year will pay an additional amount of about $120.

The $53,262,952 budget for the 2013-14 school year was not adopted unanimously. Voting against the budget and millage increase were board members Lori Cuervo, David Hvizdos and Lynn Erenberg, who Skyped her votes. Cuervo lost her bid for reelection in the spring primary; Hvizdos lost on the Republican ticket, but was nominated on the Democratic side and will run in November, and Erenberg was not up for reelection.

Voting for the budget and increase were board members Thomas McMurray, William Merrell, Sandra Gregg, Ron Dunleavy, Sue Smith and Cindy Golembiewski. Smith was elected to serve another term in the spring primary; Golembiewski lost her bid for reelection. The millage rate is currently 1.02 mills.

Additionally, the technology budget was approved, also by a vote of 6 to 3, in the amount of $1,072,972, which excludes salaries and benefits. The curriculum budget was approved for $352,024, and the capital projects budget was approved in the amount of $2,481,552.

There was no discussion as to why board members voted for or against.

Only Merrell voted against a motion to set the salaries at 150 percent for administrators, principals and assistant principals covered under state Act 93.

The board unanimously awarded a bid to D.C. Installations Inc. for partial window replacement at McMurray Elementary School in the amount of $29,850. Also, the board voted unanimously to approve a change order requested by HHSDR for two order requests for $77,918, to remove a layer on the high school stadium turf for the replacement project, and an additional $5,690 for other changes.

The air handler unit in the high school pool area will be repaired following awarding of a bid to HE Neuman at a cost of $14,938.

A bid of $9,974 was awarded to Dobil to replace the control board of the high school fire alarm system. Others bids were awarded to Dobil at $6,222 to upgrade the security and fire alarm system of the high school, and to Siemens Industry for $6,439 to repair the McMurray Direct Digital Control panel, and to Dagistino Electric Services Inc. for $104,824 to replace the district’s phone system, all of which are being funded through the capital projects portion of the budget.

When approving the list for winter coaches, the board discussed whether Jamison Hardy could be approved as a volunteer assistant coach for high school wrestling. Hardy ran only on the Republican ticket and won one of the four positions in the spring primary. However, school board candidates are permitted by law to cross file on the Republican and Democrat tickets.

After consulting with the district’s solicitor, Jack Cambest, it was determined Hardy could be appointed as a volunteer assistant coach. However, if he is elected in November, Cambest said Hardy should abstain from voting on any issued related to the wresting team.

Resident Tom Kennedy, 588 McCombs Road, approached the board about what he considers excessive noise from the air conditioning unit at Bower Hill Elementary School. The board agreed to look in to the complaint.

There is no meeting scheduled in July.

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