Last week, the Pleasant Valley School District Board of Education approved advertising the 2010-11 Proposed Budget, which includes total appropriations in the amount of $92,894,365 with a proposed millage rate of 143.630 mills.

This represents a millage increase of 8.13 mills, or 6 percent, from the current millage rate of 135.50 mills. A property with an average assessed value of $20,500 would experience a $167 property tax increase.

The 2010-11 budget is actually a decrease of $1,231,912 or 1.3 percent from 2009-10. The decrease in the overall budget is attributed to the decline in federal stimulus funding and staffing cuts due to declining enrollment. However, despite the decline in the budget, there is a need to increase millage.

Susan Famularo, PVSD business manager, stated that the 2009-10 budget planned to use fund balance in the amount of $4.8 million to balance the budget.

"This year, even with a 6 percent mill increase, the district is expecting to use $2.5 million of fund balance for the 2010-11 year," said Famularo.

The law requires the proposed budget be approved by the school board and must be available for public inspection. However, this budget is not final and the school board and administration will continue to scrutinize the spending plan for further reductions prior to developing a final budget.

The proposed budget is available in the district business office for public inspection and at the district's website: www.pvbears.org. There will also be a budget forum held at the May 13 school board meeting at 8 p.m. at the PVSD administration building in Brodheadsville. The school board will vote on the final budget at its June 24 meeting.

Polk Elementary School Principal Amy Braxmeier gave a presentation on a science program involving the school's students K-4th grade at the meeting.

The program, "Science: It's Elementary," is funded by a grant through Pennsylvania Department of Education.

Some of the comments made by the teachers included, "The students wish they could do science all day long; The lessons are easy to follow; The students get really excited; The lessons are more hands on."

Braxmeier said, "What really excites me is they will carry this enthusiasm over into PVI."

She invited everyone to visit the Academic Fair Monday night to see samples of what the students have been doing and then also on Friday, May 21 from 5-7 p.m. at Polk's science fair.

Monroe County Technical Institute will begin interviewing for a new director on April 28.

The present director, Patricia Moyer, is retiring.

The board approved the following for the 2010-2011 school year:

Ÿ Hiring the firm of Newman, Williams, Mishkin, Corveleyn, Wolfe and Ferrara as solicitor at an annual retainer of $18,000 and an hourly rate of $140 for services not covered by the retainer.

Ÿ Utilizing the services of the Levin Legal Group at an hourly rate not to exceed $180 per hour.

Ÿ Utilizing the services of the law firm of Sweet, Stevens, Katz and Williams, LLP at an hourly rate not to exceed $185 per hour.

Ÿ Utilizing the services of the law firm of King, Spry, Herman, Freund and Faul, LLC at an hourly rate not to exceed $175 hour.

Ÿ Utilizing the services of the Bollinger Law Firm, LLC at an hourly rate not to exceed $225 per hour.

Support staff approved for hire included:

Ÿ Part-time paraprofessional associates at an annual salary of $19,734, prorated effective April 26, 2010: Peggyann Corriveau, Polk; Christina Fiorito-McGowan, PVE; Tammie Pomposello, PVE; Ann Quinn-May, PVE

Ÿ Joann Frankunas, monitor, at hourly rate of $8.66; Sonia Reyes, part-time cafeteria worker, at hourly wage of $9.63; Patricia Brennan, part-time cafeteria worker, transfer from Eldred to PVE; Michele Cannarella, substitute monitor/cafeteria worker; Stephen Clark, substitute custodian/cafeteria worker; Samantha Clay, PPA; Peter Gava, custodian; MaryEllen Perloni, PPA.

Ÿ Substitutes Antonella Haines, paraprofessional associate and Peggy Mudrick, health room technician.

Professional staff approved for hire were:

Ÿ Summer Music Program, John DeVivo, music director; Ron Bielecki, assistant music director

Ÿ Substitute teachers: Samantha Clay, all areas; Kerri Lherisson, elementary; Stevann Sabatine, elementary.

The board accepted the resignations of Beata Kardasz, security officer, effective May 3, and Paolina Lindner, PVI paraprofessional associate, effective April 23.

A request for Nicole Dalmas from Bloomsburg University to serve as an unpaid speech pathologist internship, effective from May 10 through the conclusion of the 2009-2010 school year was approved.

The board accepted a letter of retirement from Judy Kresge, custodian, effective June 11.

Summer school has been approved for grade 7 at PVI, registration date June 18; grade 8 at PVMS at $175 per course for district residents and $275 per course for nonresidents, registration date June 23; and grades 9-12 for summer, June 28-July 19, fall, November, winter, February, and spring school, April, at PVHS. Registration date is one week before the beginning of the session.

The board approved the following contracts:

Ÿ Camphill Special School for a student for period of July 3-July 31, 2010 at a cost of $6,975, paid through IDEA Funds

Ÿ DaVinci Science Center for one-day instruction of professional development for 20 teachers and four administrators on May 25, at the cost of $1,200.

Ÿ Scientific Learning, software renewal, $4,500, a reduction from last year, paid through ESEA Title I funds.

The following bids were awarded:

Ÿ High school gymnasium lighting replacement to Wind Gap Electric, Inc. for $92,700.

Ÿ Installation of the varsity baseball backstop to All-Trade Construction Co., Inc. at $19,115.

The board approved the agreement between PVSD and H.A. Berkeimer, Inc. to provide Earned Income Tax Collection Service for the period of April 1, 2010 through December 31, 2011. (Eldred Township recently lost its EIT collector.) The agreement was reviewed by the school district solicitor.

The board approved, in accordance with the adoption of the Earned Income Tax Collection Agreement between PVSD and H.A. Berkheimer, Inc.:

Ÿ The resolution for the appointment of the school district liaison, the business manager, Susan Famularo

Ÿ The resolution for the adoption of the Earned Income Tax Delinquent Tax Collection Schedule of Costs

Ÿ The resolution for the appointment of H.A. Berkeimer, Inc. as the tax hearing officer.

Approval was granted to award the following contracts to:

Ÿ Gorman & Associates, P.C. for auditing the financial statements of the PVSD Earned Income Tax Offices as of and for the year ending Dec. 31, 2009 and prepare the financial statements with copies for each board member and responsible official of the district at the base fee of $6,100 and hourly rate for additional service of $72. No increase from 2008-09.

Ÿ Gorman & Associates, P.C. for auditing the financial statements, business-type activities, each major fund and the aggregate remaining fund information for the 2009-10 fiscal year ending June 30, 2010 and Single Audit. Audit fee $24,800, Single Audit Fee, $2,800 and hourly rate for additional services of $72. No increase from 2008-09.

Approval was granted to:

Ÿ Purchase a replacement aerator from Natureworks Clear Water Associates, Inc. for the middle school treatment plant in the amount of $4,682.55. Payment to be made form 2006 Bond Fund.

Ÿ Purchase a replacement Genie portable work platform lift from Mobile Lifts, Inc. in the amount of $6,212 from the 2006 Bond Fund.

Ÿ To repair the PVE chiller pump from Trane of Northeastern Pennsylvania for $4,735 from the General Fund Maintenance

Ÿ Replacement for leaking evaporator flanges on the PVE chiller barrels from Trane of Northeastern Pennsylvania for $5,183 from General Fund Maintenance.

Ÿ Change order to Lobar not to exceed $42,000 for plantings surrounding the new Effluent Lagoons that are part of the Waste Water Treatment Facility project. (Checks will be issued jointly to Lobar and Chestnuthill Nursery.)