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June 19, 2014

Laurel board approves budget

NEW CASTLE — The Laurel School Board has adopted a $17.8 million budget for the 2014-15 school year.

The $17,849,586 spending plan requires no tax increase. It represents a $361,496 increase over the current year’s budget.

The board voted 7-0 Tuesday, with Blaine Forbes and Kevin Patterson absent.

With revenue totaling $15,907,166, the budget is being balanced with $1,942,418 from the district’s fund balance. The fund balance had approximately $7.3 million as of June 30, 2013, according to business manager Mary Kosek.

The spending increase is mainly a result of the district’s payment to the Pennsylvania Public School Employees Retirement System.

The property tax will remain at 12.49 mills.

The board approved an agreement with the Pennsylvania School Boards Association to provide general liability insurance at a premium of $116,596 for the 2014-15 school year.

A transportation contract with the Portersville Christian School for the 2014-15 school year was approved at the rate of $87 per day. That is $1 higher than this year.

If the cost of diesel fuel increases above $5 per gallon, the school and Laurel will split the cost of the increase. Laurel will reimburse the school for 50 percent of the price over $5.

Pro Tech Asphalt was awarded a $36,684 contract for paving at the elementary and junior/senior high schools.

Vitale’s Asphalt was awarded a $8,900 contract for sealing at the junior/senior high school.

The board also:

•Hired Charles Mansell as district solicitor for the 2014-15 school year on a retainer of $3,500 and $120 per hour for significant services outside regular school board meetings. The rates are the same as this year.

•Approved Trish Andrews as solicitor for special education matters at $125 per hour, which is the same as the current year.

•Named Tom King as labor solicitor at $165 per hour. This year’s rate is $160 per hour.

•Hired Dr. Hugh Shearer as team doctor for home football games for the next season at a salary of $175 per game. Last year’s rate was $150.

•Named Tim Burk as athletic trainer for the next school year for $8,000, the same pay as this year.

•Approved a contract with Hess Corp. for the purchase of natural gas at $4.34 per decatherm for two years, beginning in August.

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