It will cost Palmerton Area School District nearly $30,000 to improve a sign in front of its senior high/junior high school complex.

The school board unanimously agreed on Tuesday to spend $29,800 to upgrade the electronic message sign in front of the complex.

Board President Barry Scherer said the sign would be paid for as follows: $10,241, plus accrued interest from the 2007 construction bond to close out that account; plus the balance paid from the capital reserve fund in the amount of $19,559.

Scherer noted the new sign would improve visibility for motorists

In other business, the board:

- Agreed to reinstate furloughed Instructional Assistant Kathy Hughes as the Life Skills Instructional Assistant, at Step 1, at a rate of $13.65 an hour, effective Aug. 22, 2012.

- Approved the continued services of Donna Les as financial consultant, as needed, for the negotiation process and transition of new Business Manager, at a rate of $37.50 an hour, effective July 1, 2012, through Aug. 31, 2012.

- Approved Debra Sheckler as board secretary, with the annual stipend of $1,500, effective July 1, 2012, through June 30, 2013.

- Approved Kimberly Ottinger as assistant board secretary, effective July 1, 2012, through June 30, 2013.

- Approved Diane Serfass as Open Records Officer, effective July 1, 2012, through June 30, 2013.

- Appointed, on an 8-0 vote, with one abstention, Debski as the board treasurer, effective July 1, 2012, through June 30, 2013, at the rate of $400. Debski abstained from the vote.

- Approved retiring teacher Jean Calpas to the substitute teacher list, effective June 5, 2012.

- Approved leave, beginning May 29, 2012, for Lindsay Serfass, sixth grade teacher at Towamensing Elementary School, with a return to work date of around Oct. 8, 2012.

- Approved leave, beginning Aug. 22, 2012, for about 12 weeks, for Melisa Beahn, second grade teacher at S.S. Palmer Elementary School.

- Approved leave beginning Aug. 22, 2012, for Darlene Trovitch, Learning Support Teacher at Towamensing Elementary, with a return to work date of around mid-Oct. of 2012.

- Appointed Dr. Scot Aldinger, D.D.S., as school dentist for the 2012-13 school year, at the flat rate of $750.

- Appointed Dr. Patrick Sewards as school physician for the 2012-13 school year at the cost of $8,000 for services.

- Approved professional development summer hours for newly hired and recalled professional staff members Ralph Andrews Jr., Jennifer Becker, Katherine Gilmartin, Trisha Green, Kathryn McKeon, Kelly Ruddick, Tricia Wampole, and William Zeky, at the current negotiated rate of $28 per hour.

- Approved Pamela Storm, elementary counselor, to mentor Katherine Gilmartin, Life Skills; Jaclyn Ivancich, grade 6 teacher, to mentor Ralph Andrews Jr., grade 6; Joyce Paulinho to mentor grade 1 teacher to Trisha Green, kindergarten; and Blaine House, grade 5 teacher, to mentor William Zeky, grade 3.

- Approved tenure for teachers Danielle Bowman, junior high; James George, S.S. Palmer; and Brent Harris, high school.

- Amended the funding source for payment for the summer school program as follows: Bobbi Yeager, coordinator, from district funded to Title I funded; Shannon Ambrosiano, from district funded to Title I funded; Deanna Iles, from district funded to Title I funded; Jennifer Ramaly, Title I funded; Sara Samok, district funded; Lori Smith, Title I funded; Denise Strohl, district funded; Jennifer Strohl, from district funded to Title I funded; Sue Warakomski, Title I funded; and Marcy Zelinsky, district funded.

- Approved the awarding of the Athletic Bids for the 2012-13 school year in the amount of $12,440.

- Approved the awarding of the Janitorial Bids for the 2012-13 school year in the amount of $31,933.

- Approved the 2012-13 workers' compensation coverage through PMA at an estimated cost of $68,021. The premium is based upon total payroll, and will be reconciled upon completion of the 2012-13 fiscal year.

- Approved the athletic insurance coverage through Mid Penn Insurance for the period Aug. 14, 2012 to Aug. 14, 2013, at a cost of $29,300. The coverage will be Plan AAA, primary excess over $100.

- Approved the Central Susquehanna Intermediate Unit 16 computer service rates for 2012-13. The fees are based upon district enrollment, and will fund the financial software package for the district. The estimated cost for 2012-13 is $23,000.

- Approved the contract with Markley Actuarial Services, Inc. for the required GASB 45 actuarial valuation for other post-employment benefits. The fee for these services will be $2,970.

- Approved maintenance contracts for the 2012-13 school year.

- Approved voluntary student accident coverage through Mid Penn Insurance for the period Aug. 14, 2012, to Aug. 14, 2013, for a 24-hour wrap-around rate of $75. The coverage will be Plan A, primary benefits excluding all sports.

- Accepted the first reading of Policy #221, Dress and Grooming.

- Accepted the first reading of Policy #919, Use of District name, color, insignia or logos.

- Accepted the first reading of Policy #806.1, Megan's Law.

- Approved bonding amounts for the 2012-13 fiscal year as follows: board president, $250,000; board vice president, $250,000; board secretary, $250,000; superintendent, $25,000; business manager, $25,000; employee blanket bond, $35,000; board treasurer, $20,000; tax collectors, Bowmanstown Borough, $292,279; Lower Towamensing Township, $1,171,214; Palmerton Borough, $1,814,312; and Towamensing Township, $2,086,146.

- Authorized the superintendent and business manager to make and release payments for the remaining June Accounts Payable and necessary July Accounts Payable.

- Adopted the Carbon Lehigh Intermediate Unit 21's Policies, Procedures, and Use of Funds that are to be used for submission with the 2012-13 IDEA B, Section 611, project application.

- Approved 2012-13 Legal Services Consultation Agreement with Sweet, Stevens, Katz & Williams LLP at their annual rate of $5,000, to be paid out of Special Education Funding.

- Approved the continuation of Sweet, Stevens, Katz & Williams LLP for council for negotiations at their current rate of $170 an hour.

- Extended the contract with Attorney David B. Shulman as solicitor for the Palmerton Area School District Board of Directors until Aug. 31, 2012, at the hourly rate of $120.

- Approved PA Treatment & Healing as one of the district's alternative education placement programs for the 2012-13 school year.

- Accepted the status that members of the senior class of 2012 have completed the graduation requirements set forth by the Pennsylvania Department of Education and the Board of Education of the Palmerton Area School District.

- Tabled the gift of $2,000 from the Class of 2012, toward the purchase of display cases at the high school to honor senior students, with the funds to be transferred after July 1, 2012.

- Accepted the gift of $298 from the Gridiron Club, funds to be transferred after July 1, 2012, into the football portion of the athletic budget.

- Approved the gift from Girl Scouts of the Lehigh Valley, of 30 Eastern White Pine and Eastern Hemlock trees, which were planted on Towamensing School property by Troop 37, led by Betsy Mattes.

- Approved the revision of the Nutrition Group, Inc. food service contract for the 2012-13 school year.

- Awarded the sealed offer for the pretzel machines from Mike Krupa for $20.

- Accepted settlement for grievance #PAEA 2011-5 and PHRC Case #2011-1694.

- Denied grievance #PAEA 2011/2012-8-MH.