Palmerton Area School District will shell out over $525,000 to supplant various hot water heaters/boilers.

By a unanimous vote, the school board agreed on Tuesday to award a contract for the hot water and boiler replacement bid to Blanski, Inc. of Reading, Berks County.

The contract includes the base bid amount of $296,300, along with four alternates at $229,500, for a total project cost of $525,800.

The alternates are for: a domestic water heater, and to remove the current heater and several abandoned tanks at S.S. Palmer; a new domestic hot water system at the high school; and to remove the trash incinerator in the high school.

Superintendent Carol Boyce said there are plans to deal with the chimney and natural gas line that goes to the incinerator. The incinerator will be removed, and not replaced, said Boyce, who added the district will then contact a contractor and trash removal.

"This is in a long-term effort at cost savings," Boyce said. "We will no longer be using a significant quantity of natural gas."

The project will be paid for from the $5 million bond the district took out in 2010, at which time it also refinanced several previous bonds.

The boilers/heater at Palmer are 48 years old, and the high school water heater, 49 years old.

Prior to its decision, the board heard from Ron Sarnowski, of Barry Isett & Associates. The board hired the firm in October to put the project out to bid.

Sarnowski said the work will start at the end of this school year, and should be completed in time for the start of the 2013-14 school year.

Also on Tuesday, the board, on an 8-0 vote, with one abstention, approved the proposal from F.J. Lesher, General Contractor, Palmerton, to construct a roof over the ramp at the modular at the high school in the amount of $9,350. Director Barry Scherer abstained.

The district will pay for that project with funds utilized from its facilities budget.

In other business, the board:

- Approved Alyssa Minnich, Elementary, and David McClellan, Elementary, as day-to-day substitute teachers, at the rate of $90 per day, effective March 20, 2013.

- Approved John Gunsser as day-to-day substitute teacher, effective Feb. 19, 2013.

- Approved leave tentatively beginning May 5, 2013, for Ryan Heller, Physical Education Teacher. His return to work date is to be determined.

- Approved leave beginning Jan. 29, 2013, for Denise L. Strohl. Jr. High Secretary. Her return to work date is to be determined.

- Approved Katherine Gilmartin, teacher, $28 per hour; Michelle Bisbing, Nurse, $14.47/hour; Kathy Hughes, Instructional Assistant, $13.65/hour; and Gari Savage, Instructional Assistant, $14.85/hour, for the ESY Program, which will run July 8 through Aug. 2, 2013, Monday through Thursday, from 8:30 a.m to 12:30 p.m.

- Approved the Letter of Agreement for Study Island Services (Archipelago) between the Palmerton Area School District and Carbon Lehigh Intermediate Unit #21.

- Approved the new Social Studies curriculum.

- Approved the agreement for annual license fee with Edulink, Inc., for PAETEP in the amount of $3,474 for the period of July 1, 2013, through June 30, 2014.

- Approved a list of novels from Summer Reading List to the Approved Novels List.

- Approved the proposal from J. McHale & Associates, Inc., for a real estate appraisal of Parcel #42-A-48-Q64.06, and 42A-48-Q64.08 for the purpose of defending a tax assessment appeal. It includes an analysis fee of $500, an appraisal report for $3,000, plus expenses.

- Approved the proposal from the Advisory Group, Inc. for a real estate appraisal of Parcel #42-33-A21 and 42-33-A29 for the purpose of defending a tax assessment appeal. It includes an analysis fee of $500, an appraisal report for $3,000, plus expenses.

- Approved the agreement to participate in the Overdrive Consortium for 2013-14, 2014-15, and 2015-16, with CLIU#21, in the amount of $2,500 each year.

- Approved Change Order Number 005, CMG of Easton, Inc., Project #1059010.011. The contract sum will be decreased by this change order in the amount of $40,783, and the new contract sum including this change order will be $365,207.

- Approved the A-1 Billing Services, Bus Transportation Service Contract for the PHS Environmental field trip to Baltimore Aquarium Inner Harbor on April 25, 2013.

- Approved Clarence Myers to be a candidate for a position on the CLIU board of directors.

- Accepted the donation of $100 from the Concourse Club of Palmerton to the PHS Environmental Activity Club to be used for the courtyard project.

- Approved to advertise for office paper bid.

- Approved the revised 2012-13 school calendar.