NEW CASTLE —
Now there are only two.
That is the number of school districts that have approved the Lawrence County Career and Technical Center budget for the 2013-14 year after Union board’s withdrew support this week.
The Union board rescinded its vote on the vocational-technical school’s budget after approving it on a 5-4 vote last month.
This week, board members voted 8-0 against the $6,842,838 spending plan. Carmen Merolillo abstained, saying he preferred to wait for more information.
Neshannock and Laurel are the only districts that have approved it.
Shenango also has rejected the budget. New Castle, Wilmington, Mohawk and Ellwood City have delayed voting until next month.
John Bertolino, Union’s president who voted against the budget both times, said that after other board members saw recent publicity about the spending plan, they started asking more questions.
“We had discussions and reconsidered,” Bertolino said, largely because of financial problems associated with the practical nursing program.
“That means a lot to some members — plus our cost per pupil. Some board members think that is still too high. There are a lot of question marks right now.”
The vocational technical school owes a total of $450,573 to six of the county’s eight school districts as repayments of the difference between projected enrollment paid at the beginning of the year and the actual end-of-year enrollment figures.
That total owed is only for the year 2010-11, according to information the center’s director, Andrew Tomelleo, distributed to joint operating commitee members last month.
Tommelleo made a proposal to the districts last month that includes new revenue generating projects for the practical nursing program. He anticipates the plan will generate an additional $140,000 each year, and that the districts can be paid back in four years.
The center has been using the districts’ money to offset deficits created by the nursing program.
The amount owed to the districts from 2011-12, if any, have not been calculated yet because the audit for that year has not yet been concluded, Chastity Williams, the center’s business manager, explained Monday.
The vo-tech budget must be approved by six of the eight districts in the county and a majority of the school board members by June 28 in order for the center to stay open for its summer school program.
NEW CASTLE —
Now there are only two.
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On the Record: Today’s births, police items and district judge reports
On the Record is a periodic update of public information coming out of the Lawrence County Government Center. Look inside for the latest births, police items, and district judge reports.
Agreement to enhance Austintown track project
Penn National Gaming announced Monday it has signed a key agreement regarding its Austintown race track and casino. The thoroughbred racing track, part of a facility that will include slots-like gambling machines, is scheduled to open in the fall, and the new agreement with the Ohio Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association is being touted as “positive progress” in meeting that deadline.
Library friends slate spring yard sale
The Friends of the New Castle Public Library has set the date for its spring indoor yard sale. The two-day event will run from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. March 28 and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. March 29 at the New Castle Public Library.
John K. Manna: State says some local people have high incomes
A lot of people fantasize about becoming instant millionaires. That’s why millions of Americans play the lottery, particularly when the jackpots for Powerball and Mega Millions exceed $100 million.
Tentative casino hearing date set
May 8 is the tentative date for a public hearing for Lawrence County residents to comment on the proposed casino. The Mahoning supervisors announced the date Thursday.
Training seminar to address handling PennDOT contracts
A training seminar on how to deal with state transportation engineering and construction contracts is planned for this month
Recycling facility’s plan recommended for approval
The New Castle Planning Commission has recommended approval of a land development plan for a recycling facility. Ben Weitsman and Sons of New Castle plans to construct a facility at 526 S. Jefferson St. to recycle scrap metal.
Jameson to move pediatric unit
Plans are under way to relocate inpatient pediatric care at Jameson Hospital. A press release issued Wednesday by Jameson Health System said pediatric care will continue at the hospital and “will be provided in a safe environment by the same pediatricians, physician specialists and pediatric trained registered nurses and staff.”
County asking to divert state bridge money
Lawrence County has an accumulation of state funds designated for its bridges that it cannot spend. It wants to share those funds for local road repairs, but cannot use the money — more than $600,000 — for that because the funds are restricted by a law enacted in 2007, and can be used only as a county match for county-owned bridge projects.
Commissioners make meeting changes
The Lawrence County commissioners have made a couple of changes to their regular meeting schedule this month.They will meet as usual at 10 a.m. Tuesday in their meeting room in the courthouse.
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