New Castle News

Neshannock

May 24, 2014

Fees divide Neshannock school board

NEW CASTLE — Members of the Neshannock Township school board displayed disagreement over various items when they met this week.

It began when board member Jay Vitale opposed amending the agenda. The list of changes included hiring a business manager for the district.

Vitale later voted against the board’s candidate for the business manager post, Justin DiMuccio.

The position was filled on a 7-1 vote with James McFarland, David Antuono, P.J. Copple, Mark Hasson, Richard Loudon, Amy Na and Karen Houk, board president, approving. Cathy Snyder was absent.

DiMuccio’s salary was not disclosed. Houk and superintendent Dr. Mary Todora said that figure is still being negotiated.

Board members also were divided over participation fees charged to students.

Antuono and Na opposed charging students $50 to participate in a sport, even though other board members said these fees would not exceed $250 per family and no child would be barred from participation if he or she could not pay the fee. The measure passed 6-2.

Antuono and Na also opposed the non-refundable student parking pass rate of $25 per semester for the 2014-15 school year.

“This is a $50 tax increase to parents, to our taxpayers,” Antuono said. “The kids don’t pay this, the parents do.”

Todora said the fee helps to maintain the school’s parking lot. She noted students park in the 75 spaces facing Mitchell Road and 58 spaces facing the high school. This results in $6,650 income to the district.

Board members also discussed changing the color of parking passes to be sold in the coming school year to discourage current passes being used for a second year.

Hasson and Vitale opposed selecting ESB Bank as the district’s depository for the 2014-15 school year. That passed on a 6-2 vote.

Vitale and Hasson also opposed approving health insurance rates with Western Pennsylvania Schools Health Care Consortium. These rates have been increased by 8 percent over the current year’s fees.

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