Archbold, OH

Pettisville Levy Off August Ballot

Voters in the Pettisville School District won’t be asked to raise their taxes this August after an action by the school board at its Monday, June 11 meeting.

The board voted to remove the request for a 1% income tax increase for additional operating revenue from the August special election ballot.

The move was prompted by an improved financial picture for the district.

Steve Switzer, superintendent, said the district’s projected budget numbers have changed in a positive direction.

Revenue figures are up, and expenses are below projections.

“The income tax is currently 8.71% above estimates,” Switzer said, “while personnel, retirement and benefits, and purchased services are below projections.”

Chris Lee, district treasurer, agreed with Switzer’s assessment.

“Everything broke in the right direction,” Lee said.

“In our projections, we were conservative in our projection of revenues, and we projected expenses to be higher.”

When the actual figures came in, everything looked better than projected. Switzer told the board, “for the first time in several years, we now can see the possibility of increased income from the income tax.” Figures

In a press release issued Tuesday morning, Switzer said in March, school district officials were expecting a negative cash flow of $174,000 for the 2011-12 fiscal year.

That figure was backed up by an Ohio Department of Education fiscal analysis.

Since then, revenues are almost seven-tenths (.7%) of a percentage point higher than projected, while expenses are 1.91% less than anticipated.

That results in a combined positive change of about 2.6%.

Among the expenses that are lower than expected, personnel costs are 84 one-hundredths (.84%) of a percentage point below estimates, retirement and benefit costs are down 3.7%, and purchased services costs are 2.94% below estimates.

Current projections say the negative cash flow will be about $50,000, or possibly even less.

The board will study the situation to determine if the positive trends continue.

Cost Savings

The board will continue with cost-saving measures that were implemented, including eliminating a professional librarian in favor of an educational assistant who will oversee the library and an accounting teacher position.

The board also approved removing one school bus from the fleet. The board authorized the sale of bus No. 4, a 1984 59-passenger vehicle with a diesel engine.

The move reduces the fleet to 10 busses with five routes.

Switzer explained that often, while five buses are on their routes after school, three more are on the road, transporting students to other locations.

Plus, one of the spare buses seats 19 passengers, which is not practical for a regular bus route.

Switzer said school offi- cials are looking into selling one more bus.

Savings will also be realized from a new plan to employ a school psychologist. Previously the district used a psychologist employed by the Northwest Ohio Educational Service Center.

The new plan will have Pettisville sharing a psychologist with the Ayersville and Edgerton school districts.

The three plan to hire Matt Shumaker.

Shumaker is currently a school psychologist for the NWOESC, a position he has held since 2004.

Prior to 2001, he taught science in the Archbold, Wauseon, and Edon school districts.

He has also served as a direct care provider and supervisor at the Filling Memorial Home of Mercy in Napoleon.

Shumaker holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Toledo, a master’s degree from Bowling Green State University, and an educational specialist degree in psychology from BGSU.

Pettisville school officials expect to save approximately $10,000 per school year with the new contract.

The board approved an unpaid one-year leave of absence for Jodi Crossgrove. A replacement teacher will be hired to cover her leave.

Crossgrove will work in Puerto Rico for the coming school year.

Cost Increase

One motion approved by the board contained a cost increase rather than savings.

The board approved a new insurance contract with the Schools of Ohio Risk Sharing Authority (SORSA) that included a $10,373 increase.

The insurance was for liability, property and fleet insurance.

The increase was due primarily to the fact that the new school building increased the district property value by more than $13.5 million.

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