Archbold, OH

Pettisville Schools Start Deficit Spending During 2012 Fiscal Year

The Pettisville Local School District will begin spending more money than it receives starting in the 2012 fiscal year, which is the next school year.

That’s what members of the district school board were told during their Monday, Nov. 1 meeting.

The information comes from a five-year financial forecast prepared by Chris Lee, district treasurer.

The forecast indicates the district will not actually run out of money until near the end of the five-year projection, but each year the available funds would decrease due to expenditures exceeding revenue.

Lee explained that he based the projection on historic patterns in tax revenues, and assumed the income tax “will hold relatively flat for the remaining years of this forecast.”

Lee presented figures to the board that showed the income tax revenue for the first two quarters of 2011 was up from the same quarters a year ago, but it was still well below the same quarters for 2008 and 2009.

Projections for spending show no increase in base sal- aries, but project 5% increases in the cost of benefits. The expenditure projections do not include savings that might be realized from the wind turbine project since the project has not officially begun.

Pettisville has historically had a significant number of open enrollment students, with the revenue that accompanies them. This year the district had a net decrease in OE students, and the projection reflects that decrease.

Building Project

The board reviewed information about the building project that is underway.

Steve Switzer, district superintendent, said the district dropped the request for zoning variances.

Switzer said all the requested variances will no longer be needed. The playground was designed to fit within the setback allowed by zoning codes, and the proposed parking area on the former Miller property will also stay inside established setbacks.

The other zoning variance that had been considered involved fall space for the wind turbine project, and that had been addressed by modifying the property easement with the Genter family.

Switzer also reported brickwork had started on the new school building. The brickwork will be modeled after the diamond pattern on the 1929 building, which will be demolished.

Some of the roof trusses are in place on the south portion of the new building, where the elementary classes will be housed. The remaining overhead trusses should be installed within the next few weeks.

The color committee for the project met to present recommendations about the overall color scheme for the interior.

Members of the color committee are Greg Rupp, Marlene Huber, Kathy Gruenhagen, Joyce Nafziger, and Switzer, with Jamie Tscherne of the Buehrer Group serving as director of the committee.

Wind Turbine

In an update of the wind turbine, Switzer said the district received an additional $100,000 grant from American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds that should complete the financial needs.

The only holdup to start the project was the final approval of the environmental assessment, and final paperwork for the grants. The board will soon be asked to approve bidding for the $1.15-million dollar project.

The board was updated about the Safe Routes to Schools grant that is being submitted by the Fulton County Commissioners on behalf of Pettisville.

The grant will provide for additional sidewalks within the community to improve safety for children walking to school.

The school board has given its endorsement to portions of the project, but has remained noncommittal on other sections of the proposal.

The grant would allow for two sets of solar-powered 20 miles-per-hour school zone flashers and road markings. One set would be located along Co. Rd. D, and the other on Main Street.

Sidewalks are proposed for the south side of Summit Street and south on Oak Street, connecting with the sidewalk that will be installed on the north side of Co. Rd. D just south of the new school.

The board fully supports the elements of the grant project.

Additional sidewalks are proposed to run along Summit Street east, down Ann Avenue, north on Ballpark Drive, then east to the Rupp subdivision.

The grant would also provide an improved pedestrian crossing at the Norfolk Southern railroad tracks.

The board has neither supported nor rejected the portions of the grant.

Switzer said district offi- cials believe most of the other proposed sidewalks would be better addressed with members of the community who would be directly affected.

No School

Classes will not be held at Pettisville on Thursday and Friday, Nov. 4-5, to allow for parent-teacher conferences. School resumes Monday, Nov. 8.

The next board meeting is Monday, Dec. 13, 7 p.m. in the school library. This month’s meeting was held one week early to allow board members to attend the Ohio School Board Association conference in Columbus next week.–D.J. Neuenschwander

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