Urbana City Schools board members approved staff contracts and received updates on the school building project at their Thursday meeting.
The board also began the process for placing renewal levies on the November ballot.
The board approved a two-year contract for Curriculum Director Kathy Colasanti; and three-year contracts for Director of Business Services Bob Huelsman, Junior High Principal Joanne Petty and North Elementary Principal Julie Willoughby.
Colasanti’s salary increased 2.5 percent, from $87,125 to $89,303.13; Huelsman’s salary increased 2 percent, from $93,635.05 to $95,507.75; Petty’s salary increased 2.5 percent, from $87.074.54 to $89,251.40; and Willoughby’s salary increased 3 percent, from $73,150 to $75.344.50; according to Treasurer Mandy Hildebrand. Board members Alyssa Dunham, Jan Engle and Warren Stevens voted yes on the contracts; Tim Lacy voted no and Jack Beard was absent.
The board also approved the first of two resolutions to put two renewal levies on the November ballot. They will not appear on the ballot unless the board approves a second resolution at its next meeting. The two renewal levies are a 5.9-mill operating levy, first approved in March 2000; and a 14.88-mill operating levy, which is a combination of two previous levies, with one first approved in February 1987 and the second in August 1993.
The 5.9-mill renewal is estimated to generate $1.16 million for the district annually, and the 14.8-mill levy is estimated to generate $2.1 million annually, Hildebrand said. Those estimates will be updated when the board decides if it will place either or both on the November ballot.
Board Vice President Jan Engle said he would like to see the board extend these levies to longer periods of time or make them permanent, so the board does not always have to keep going back to voters for renewal. Superintendent Charles Thiel said that is something the board could consider doing, but he advised doing that when the levies first come up for renewal again. Thiel said the 5.9-mill renewal must pass in November or it will expire at the end of the current year, and he did not want to risk it not passing because of a change. The 14.8-mill levy expires at the end of 2016.
Thiel added the board should consider if it wants to put both levies on the November ballot or if it wants to wait on the 14.8-mill levy, since that one has some time before it expires. Thiel said there is no guarantee voters will approve both levies if they see two on the ballot, despite not asking for new money.
School buildings project update
The school building project planning continues, Thiel told the board. The district’s attorney has been in contact with Urbana city and Ohio School Facilities Commission (OFCC) attorneys to discuss the process moving forward. The school district’s attorney shared an opinion last month with city officials stating it did not believe the district is allowed by law to rebuild city streets with voter-approved school building project dollars.
School district and city officials have been discussing development of the new school buildings, with the pre-kindergarten to grade eight building on land the district owns off Community Drive being the most problematic. The site has never been developed and has no utilities or roadway access to the school building site. City regulations require developers to improve some infrastructure when a site is developed, which can include improving intersections and roads around it. Thiel and school attorneys share the opinion that the district cannot use taxpayer dollars to build or improve city roads, though they would have to extend utilities and roads to the new school building.
Thiel said the architects are working through city requirements and regulations and attempting to put together a couple of site plan proposals that meet city requirements. Thiel said he does not have a time frame on when that work will be completed.
In other action, the board:
•Approved minutes and financial statements.
•Approved new, updated, deleted and/or revised policies.
•Approved the Time to Teach/Time to Learn Resolution.
•Approved advancing funds as necessary to cover any deficit balances.
•Approved the transfer of funds from the general fund to the 009 fee fund to cover an anticipated deficit balance.
•Approved the final amended certificate for fiscal year 2015.
•Approved final appropriations for fiscal year 2015.
•Approved additional line items for fiscal year 2016 certificate of estimated resources.
•Approved temporary appropriations for fiscal year 2016.
•Approved donations of $2,000 to the Urbana High School FFA from the Ohio FFA Foundation; $300 in scissors, crayons and gift bags to Urbana City Schools kindergarten from Wal-mart; and $300 in folders to Urbana East Elementary from Peoples Savings Bank.
•Approved the resignations of Speech Teacher Denise Clements, Teacher Ashley Jenkins, Teacher Sadie Beier, Teacher Emily Wendt, Teacher Margaret Williams and Teacher Amy Weinert, all effective the end of the 2014-15 school year; and School Psychologist Michelle Giguere, effective June 5, 2015.
•Approved hiring Head Girls Soccer Coach Brandon Deskins at Step 0 and Head Boys Golf Coach Jerome Armstrong at Step 0 for the 2015-16 school year.
•Approved hiring Head Girls Softball Coach Aaron Pittsenbarger at Step 0 for the 2015-16 school year.
•Approved hiring Athletic Department volunteer Kate Smith at Level 1 for the summer of 2015.
•Approved site managers for the 2015-16 school year.
•Approved athletic event ticket takers for the 2015-16 school year.
•Approved non-renewal of non-certified coaching contracts per the Urbana Association of Classroom Teachers contract for Assistant High School Girls Track Coach Frank Stid and Assistant Junior High Track Coach Kwinten Young.
•Approved extended days for the 2014-15 school year for agricultural education teachers, paid via the Agricultural Education 5th quarter grant.
•Approved substitute administrators for the 2015-16 school year.
•Approved volunteers at the high school for the 2015-16 school year.
•Approved athletic department volunteers for the summer of 2015 and the 2015-16 school year.
•Approved substitute summer school teacher Sara Nannarone as needed for summer school 2015.
•Approved teachers for the 2015-16 school year.
•Approved Freshman Focus Advisors for the 2015-16 school year.
•Approved the resignation of Freshman Class Advisor and Freshman Focus Advisor Sadie Beier, effective immediately.
•Approved the resignation of associate Cory Maycock, effective immediately.
•Approved hiring Teacher Cory Maycock for the 2015-16 school year.
•Accepted the District Educational Visioning Report, pending completion of final editing of typos.
•Approved changes to the Urbana Junior High Student Handbook.
•Approved the Urbana High School Volleyball team trip to the Maumee Volleyball Tournament in Maumee, Ohio, from July 16-18, 2015, pending approval of all travel arrangements.