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TIF ordinances approved with city

Bellefontaine Schools Board of Education members approved at their Monday evening meeting two tax increment finance ordinances with the city of Bellefontaine, along with a TIF compensation agreement.

The TIF ordinances apply to a number of land parcels located on the city’s east side and also parcels along Main Street.

Following the board’s action, city council members are expected to pass two TIF ordinances that would “declare 100 percent of the increase in assessed value of the property to be a public purpose and exempt from real property taxation for a period of 30 years for each separate parcel,” according to the ordinance’s language.

The TIF compensation agreement would provide for semi-annual payments to the school district a portion of the total service payments paid to the city for each year in which exemptions are effective.

“This is a win-win situation for everyone involved, as the TIF should help the city attract economic development and it won’t affect property tax revenue for the schools,” Superintendent Beth Harman said.

Another initiative highlighted during the meeting was a project created by Bellefontaine Middle School eighth-graders Marshall Verbsky and Jonathan Kelley for their Science, Technology, Engineering and Math class.

The pair researched and then designed a prototype of a magnetically-propelled car.

While creating their project, the pupils learned about some of the advantages of using this mode of transportation, such as the environmental and cost savings of this alternative to fossil-fueled cars.

They also worked with patent lawyer and board member Joan Haushalter to determine whether there were similar magnetically-propelled cars already in existence.

Both students said they enjoyed the challenges of working on the technology-focused initiative.

“I used to be more of an independent worker, but I’ve learned that teamwork usually works out better than working by yourself,” Jonathan said.

“This class has taught me a bunch of things that I’ll never forget,” Marshall said. “I’m trying to make room in my schedule next year to take a similar class at the high school.”

Marshall and Jonathan also will present their findings at the Project Lead the Way STEM Convention next week at The Ohio University campus.

During the committee of the whole report, middle school teacher Cliff Core provided updates about the eighth-grade trip to Washington, D.C., slated for May 31 through June 2.

Mr. Core noted that the trip is being offered through Discovery Tours and will cost students a total of $440 per person this year.

However, he stressed that students should not be held back from attending the trip because of financial reasons.

“We’re offering fundraisers and we’ll work with the students to do everything we can to see that they go on the trip,” Mr. Core said.

BMS Principal Shanel Henry provided a Teacher Incentive Fund update, noting that a partial pay-out of financial incentives for teachers started this week.

Regarding the Race to the Top grant, committee member Denise Johnson reported that principals are being trained on new teacher evaluations that utilize iPad technology and provide immediate feedback for those being evaluated.

In other action, the board:

• accepted the supplemental contract resignation of James McDonald, high school wrestling assistant, and extended a contract for that position to Eric Harman;

• extended a supplemental contract to James McDonald, middle school wrestling assistant;

• approved Thomas Rose as a volunteer eighth-grade boys basketball coach;

• accepted the resignation of Sara Metzler, food service, effective Oct. 12;

• approved the following teachers as home/school tutors to be paid at the rate of $18 per hour: Gay Brunswick, Lauren Burkhardt, Penny Cummings, Connor Dunn, April Easton, Christy Garver, Jon Hayduk, Julie Kurtz, Jeanine Lewis, Carol Maze, Keith Pettit, Joliece Reed, Joni Siler, Sara Stahler, Lauren Turner, April Wasinger, Heather Wechta;

• approved the following classified staff members as school tutors to be paid at the rate of $15 per hour: Megan Cira, Rosemary LaBatt, Sandy Meyer, Tammy Overholser, Darin Vermillion;

• accepted a change in time status for Kristy Gibbs, food service, to 2 1/2 hours per day; and

• approved a motion to increase the hourly wages of service and support substitutes for the positions of custodian and food service worker to $8 per hour beginning Jan. 1.

The board only meets for one regular session next month — 6:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 10.

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