by Rachel Heitzenrater

ELKLAND — The Northern Tioga School District board met on June 7 to discuss its final budget. The figure of $35,853,432 has been on display on the Northern Tioga School District website for the past month and was voted 6/8 in favor for the 2018/19 school year. Board members Tony Daley and Jean Kohut voted against the final budget.

Kohut had asked the board how the increase in the budget came about to make up the deficit. Erb replied with IDEA funds, which are investment interest earnings.

Superintendent Dr. Diana Barnes reported that the school district’s audit was good. She also asked the board to consider supporting the Laurel Mountain K-9 Search & Rescue group, who asked to use property the board owns in CV and Elkland to train dogs in searching for children, but will be no cost to the district. The board later voted in favor of this motion at the end of the meeting. Also during her report, Barnes mentioned that Northern Tioga was a model statewide for a healthy living program run by Amy Coots. The district also has been working with Susan Stickland in a leadership program.

The board also said goodbye to business manager Wanda Erb at the meeting. Taking her seat will be current secretary Kathy VanSchaick, who will be taking the position effective July 1 and utilizing Erb with any questions at a rate of $50/hour.

Buildings and grounds committee

Also discussed was the recent buildings and grounds report, which was reviewed once more at the May 14 meeting. The board reviewed the items on its summary list and voted to delete and prioritize projects. The board committee members include Greg Cummings, Jean Kohut and Ed Bonham. Ian McLaughlin, a school board member, was also present for the meeting.

Mike Jones of Hunt Engineering noted decreasing asbestos costs and has

obtained better numbers from Penelec regarding the electrical service. The Williamson High School soccer field electric service has been removed from the project.

Completed projects include the stage at Williamson High School. CV’s stage will get the same lighting system as Williamson. Lighting for the Clark Wood stage will be replaced with LED, saving money.

For a full list of items discussed, check out the district’s website under buildings and grounds committe, where a full report was written up.

Erb noted that the re-bids were placed in areas around Harrisburg, State College and Scranton in hopes to receive bids at the budget price.

Board member Jean Kohut asked for an updated list of the individual items at each building that will now be included with the project.

According to the meeting minutes, board member Bonham expressed his concern with having to re-bid the project and asked if the district will be paying any additional costs in having to do so. Jones indicated that there is no additional costs because of the re-bid.

A meeting on June 14 at 2 p.m. the bids will be reviewed and then voted on the following Monday, June 18, at a special board meeting.

Appointment of solicitor Chris Lantz will also be voted on at the June 18 meeting, as Daley suggested that the board know the exact number of cost to retain Lantz, rather than estimating the cost is $125-145 an hour.

Erb and Barnes were granted permission from the board to move forward with selling unused and unnecessary items on a website called municibid.com, in hopes the district can obtain money for items not being used. Items will be offered in group lots by sealed bids.

For more information on Northern Tioga School District, go to www.ntiogasd.org. The next meeting has been changed to a special board meeting on Monday, June 18, at 6 p.m. in the administration building, Elkland.