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INDIAN LAKE BOE:

Appropriations slightly more than last year

By NATE SMITH
Examiner Staff Writer

Levy committee chairman named

Indian Lake school board members at a regular meeting Monday approved total appropriations for fiscal year 2013, a treasurer for their levy committee and heard from a registered district voter skeptical about the upcoming ballot issue.

Total spending allocations for this fiscal year total $22.3 million, Treasurer Coleen Reprogle said.

“This is a slight decrease of about 1 percent over last year’s expenditures due to reductions in staff through attrition, wage and benefit concessions by the staff, and receiving fewer federal funds,” Mrs. Reprogle said.

General fund appropriations for the year are $15.9 million, which represents less than a 1 percent increase over last year.

“This slight increase is due to projected market-driven costs such as utilities, gas and maintenance costs,” Mrs. Reprogle said, “the cost of which we can’t control.”

Gabe Wickline, a 1997 graduate of Indian Lake High School, was approved by the board to serve as treasurer of the committee tasked with generating community support for the 7.35 mills levy the district seeks to get passed Nov. 6.

The name of the committee is Citizens for Indian Lake Schools, Superintendent Pat O’Donnell  said, adding the group’s motto is: “The future is now.”

Resident Mike George, of Huntsville, addressed the board with his concerns about the need for the levy. Armed with stapled packets of information regarding current levy rates still on the books and administrator’s salary information from the Ohio Department of Education, Mr. George said he believes the community already adequately supports its school financially and hinted that school administrators may make too much for this area. The 13 highest-paid administrators have a median salary of about $70,000 per year, Mr. George said. He also talked about 32.5 mills of taxes Indian Lake residents pay for the permanent operation of the school and for the bond issue that paid for the new buildings.

“That’s in the 90th percentile of median pay for (Ohio school employees),” Mr. George said, citing the $72,752 annual salary of former high school media specialist Betsy Shoffstall.

The board accepted Mrs. Shoffstall’s resignation for the purpose of retirement in April and her position was not filled after she retired, Mr. O’Donnell said, adding, “We don’t even have a librarian right now.”

The exchange was cordial and board members and Mr. O’Donnell thanked Mr. George for attending the meeting and for his concern.

“We appreciate your taking an interest and we understand your concern,” board president Mark Wahl said. “We all live in the district and pay taxes and we don’t like it any more than you do, but we’ve exhausted all other options and this is what we have to do.”

The district has cited increased healthcare, fuel and maintenance costs coupled with steep reductions in state funding as the primary reasons for requesting new money.

The 7.35 mills levy would cost a home valued at $100,000 an extra $225.09 annually — about 62 cents per day.

The net annual increase in tax is $53.59 per year after the board allows an existing 5.6 mills levy to expire in January 2015.

In other action, the board:

• replaced four-hour bus driver contracts, with five-hour-per-day-agreements for Misty Satterly and William Shaffer;

• hired Donald DeWeese as a four-hour per day bus driver;

• Robert Gates and Barbara Shahan as substitute bus drivers;

• approved Thursday/Saturday school supervisors Erin Miller, Greg Tuttle, Melissa Rice, Susan Lengerich, Troy Shively, Chris Anders, Christi Warnecke, Amy Fatone, Morissa Sweeney, Dana Clune, Don Bauer, Matt Steinbarger, Lisa Seeley, Kristen Grillot, Jenifer Ignarski, Pam Elder, Amanda Strayer, Brian Tidwell, Michael Hunter, Valarie Rapp, Joyce King and Misha Monnin;

• approved supplemental contracts for: John Newland, junior varsity boys basketball; Jennifer Ramsey, varsity cheerleading; Jessica Tussing, volunteer sophomore class adviser; and Bobby Moldovan, volunteer high school cross country; and

• approved classified substitutes Ryan Holycross, Jennifer Snipes and Amby Wallace, food service; and Jennifer Snipes, secretary.

Board member Rick Clark was absent from the meeting. The board meets again Oct. 15.BE