New Castle News

Local News

February 17, 2014

Neshannock sets tax hike limit

NEW CASTLE — The Neshannock school board does not expect to raise taxes this year. But members are prepared if the need arises.

The board adopted a resolution setting a limit for any property tax increase it could impose for next year.

Board president Karen Houk sad no tax increase is expected, but if one is necessary, any property tax increase will be limited to 2.253 percent. That is the maximum permitted by the index set by the Pennsylvania Department of Education without voter approval. That increase would generate about $225,000.

However, Dr. Mary Todora, superintendent, also said she does not anticipate recommending a tax hike.

Neshannock’s property tax is currently 14.3758 mills. If an increase is needed, it can not exceed 16.6258 mills.

Also this week, the board approved a snow day practice policy.

If school is canceled because of weather conditions, but the weather improves later in the day, coaches and teachers involved in extracurricular activities may — with the approval of the superintendent — call voluntary practice sessions for later in the day.

These practices cannot begin until after 3:30 p.m., which is the end of the school day, and students will not be penalized if they can’t get to a snow day practice.

Board member Jay Vitale said the extensive number of snow dates this school year caused coaches, teachers and advisers to ask about practices for extracurricular events. This includes school plays, band practice and other activities, as well as sports, he said.

The board also:

•Set playground supervisors’ pay at $19.85 per day. The previous rate had been $17 per day.

•Approved the school calendar for the 2014-15 school year. The school year begins Aug. 25, ends June 5 and includes six snow makeup days.

•Opened a bid from Nutrition Inc. of West Newton, Pa., for food service. It was the only bid received. Todora said further investigation is necessary before a vote is taken to award it.

•Granted the request of Northern Steel Colonial Soccer to use school facilities on March 22 and April 5 and 26. The soccer club will pay a $400 per day rental fee.

•Authorized use of school facilities for a 5K race April 26 to benefit Special Olympics

•Authorized Vision Ministries of Lawrence County to use the facility Nov. 8.

•Granted family leave to Jenny Cameron from March 5 through June 2 and to Lori Stonebreaker from the start of the 2014-15 school year until Dec. 13. This is an unpaid leave.

•Heard a presentation by Mark Daugherty, who with his students this year raised almost $22,000 for the American Cancer Society and cancer research

•Received an art curriculum review by art teachers Susan Zaenger and Ned Yahn.

(Email: nlowry@ncnewsonline.com)

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