Panther Valley school district business manager, Kenneth Marx, Jr., announced that the district will receive $386,000 of the $525,000 that it is owed in back taxes from the LC&N properties. At last night's regular school board meeting, Marx explained that the rest of the total is still under investigation and it will be decided in court in October when and if the district receives that money.
The board was also advised by solicitor Robert Yurchak that it will need to hire an appraiser to examine the 19 LC&N properties that were sold under one deed for $11 million.
"For us to challenge that or do anything with that, we need an appraiser," he said, "and that's one I think we should do something with."
The board also received correspondence from the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), indicating that it would come in and clean up the chemicals in the property on West Bertsch Street. The board had heard from Quad 3 at last month's meeting and had initially proposed to accept its letter of intent to provide the environmental assessment and cleanup service. However, late yesterday afternoon, the solicitor received the letter from DEP and the motion was modified and approved with DEP as the provider of service.
In other business, the board accepted the resignation of Robert Boretsky, part-time custodian, effective immediately. They hired Mary Rolland as a permanent part-time custodian, effective Sept. 10, at an hourly rate of $12.60. The board hired Elizabeth Wehr as the middle school disciplinarian, effective immediately, at an annual salary of $22,000. The board approved Michael Kohan as a short term substitute at the middle school from Sept. 7 to Nov. 24, at a daily rate of $135. Thomas Ferrence was added to the list of substitute teachers for the school year. Megan Kusko was hired as a fall worker for the school year at a rate of $25 per event.
Lisa Ogazalek, the middle school guidance counselor, was placed in the Masters Plus-30 column of the PVEA pay scale retroactively to the beginning of the school year.
The board granted tenure to Tonya Drum and Theresa Stone, following the completion of six satisfactory ratings. Julie Gower, middle school teacher, was also placed in the Master's Degree column of the PVEA salary scale, retroactively to Aug. 28.
High school Principal Joseph Gunnels announced that the Panther Valley JROTC had scored a 400 out of a possible 400 on its annual review, which was conducted by Lehigh University.
Additionally, there will be 9/11 commemorative services today at both the middle and high schools.
Director David Hiles brought up the fact that the old St. Ann's school property, which is being turned into apartments, has been granted tax-free status.
"You know it's only a matter of time until they apply for tax-free status for the whole building. Maybe it will be legal and there won't be anything we can do about it, but we need to make some noise. We need to let Kanjorski, Specter, Casey know that we're not happy with the laws that deal with not collecting taxes from properties," he said.
Hiles encouraged residents to write to their representatives expressing dissatisfaction with the current laws.
Hiles also questioned whether the area actually needed additional senior housing.
"There is always a sign out in front of the old Nesquehoning high school for vacancies," he said.