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LC&N back taxes sought

Published June 12. 2010 09:00AM

The Panther Valley School District has been approved to receive $2.2 million in state qualified, low interest construction bonds.

The funding will go towards the Schneider Electric project which, beginning this summer, will upgrade many of the energy systems at the high school. The board also approved the first payment to Schneider in the amount of $299,475.

Business manager Kenneth Marx, Jr. advised the school board that closing for the LC&N property had been held on June 3rd and the district's tax collector has already submitted a request for the $512,000 owed to the district in back taxes.

In other financial matters, the board approved exoneration requests for per capita taxes in the amount of $13,360 and occupation taxes in the amount of $53,825 for the 2009 tax year. According to Marx, this amount is typical of the amount refunded in previous years, and includes residents who passed away, moved, were billed in duplicate, and who may have qualified for tax exemptions.

The board approved the sale of a property 122A3-22-A16, located in Lansford, that is currently in the repository for unsold properties. After the sale, the property will return to the tax rolls.

The board approved a bid for the property at 401 West Bertsch Street, in Lansford, in the amount of $788.32. Board solicitor Robert Yurchak explained that this is, in fact, the bid submitted by the district to obtain the property. However, all three taxing bodies, including the borough, the county, and the school district must approve the bid. Lansford has approved the bid already, and Yurchak added that he anticipates the county will as well.

Director David Hiles asked for an update on the request for an account of reimbursement that the CLIU has received from Leader Services, on behalf of the school district. The board became aware that such funds existed after a presentation by the IU last month.

The IU representatives explained that they held the money and then used it to purchase any equipment that might be needed by Panther Valley Students. Superintendent Rosemary Porembo said that she had spoken with the new director of the IU.

"They are working on this and we will get a refund," she said. "We will also put something in writing that any money that we did not use, we would want back for the district."

Hiles asked if they could get the same accounting from Leader Services, to verify that the funds the IU claimed they received were valid. According to special education director Rick Caffrey, the reimbursement from Leader Services is not itemized by school district.

Caffrey also expressed surprise that there might be a reserved fund in Panther Valley's name. Hiles displayed skepticism that the account does actually exist and that the district will see any money from it.

"Why didn't they give us the money in the first place?" he asked.

In personnel matters, the board:

• Reappointed Yurchak as the district's solicitor for the 2010-2011 school term at the retainer fee of $7,250 and an hourly rate of $90 for work done outside of meetings;

• Approved the transfer of Theresa Faenza from high school general worker to elementary server, effective August 1, at a rate of $12.65/hour;

• Hired Jason Gates as a lifeguard, retroactive to May 14th, 2010;

• Extended the probation period from 30 days to 60 days for certification and training of pool maintenance required for the vacant custodian position;

• Moved Allison O'Connor, elementary school teacher, into the Masters degree column of the PVEA pay scale effective at the start of the 2010-2011 school year.

The following instructional aide transfers will take place at the beginning of the 2010-2011 school year: Lori Beers, to grade 5 learning support, Francine Collevechio, to grade 1 learning support, Debbie Drum, to E.S. 1:1, Carmella Miller, to E.S. life skills II, Roxanne Bonner, to E.S. 1:1, Charlene Lyne to M.S. life skills I, and Julie Loudon, to grade 8 learning support.

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