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Clarion Area School Passes $13.7 Million Budget, No New Taxes

Thursday, June 14, 2018 @ 01:06 AM

Posted by Ron Wilshire

clarion-areaCLARION, Pa. (EYT) – Clarion Area School District Board of Directors on Tuesday night approved a final 2018-19 budget of $13.7 million with no tax increases.

The $13,757,580.00 budget also projects a year-end fund balance of $941,834.00.

Long-term indebtedness is projected at $12.3 million, slightly less than the $12.7 million in 2017-18.

The real estate tax of 65.7300 has remained unchanged for several years.  Other taxes include:

• Earned Income – 1 percent (1/2 percent collected by the school district)

• Occupational Assessment – 25 percent

• Per Capita – $5.00 under School Code

• Per Capita – $5.00 under Act 511

• LST – $52.00 – Clarion Borough, Monroe, Highland & Paint Townships

($5.00 collected by the district for Borough, Monroe & Paint Townships; $10.00 Highland Township under Act 511)

• Real Estate Transfer – ½ percent for Clarion Borough, Monroe, Paint, and Highland Townships.

School board members unanimously approved the budget, including Todd Bauer, Dave Estadt, Hugh Henry, Julie Hartley, Shane Kriebel, Julie McCormick, and Zachary Shekell.

A tentative cooperative agreement between the Keystone Area School District and Clarion Area to permit the students of Keystone Area School District to participate in the wrestling program of the Clarion Area School District for two years was discussed.

Superintendent Mike Stahlman will bring back a final agreement for approval.

Benefits and goals would include an opportunity to fill all weight classes, develop a more competitive program, and develop quote co-ops and other sports programs.

A look at the wrestling records shows a decrease in the number of participants and the need for cooperative programs that allow several different schools to join together and field a program.

Wrestling numbers

With the coop costs borne by the school districts, booster clubs, or parents, a coop program makes good financial sense. The costs of operating a program like wrestling from one school may be prohibitive.

Projected Wrestling Budget

The board approved three sections of summer physical education classes, with 30 students in each class.  The class is self-funded with a cost of $60.00 per student. The classes can also include physical education used in conjunction with a scholastic sport.

The tentative cooperative sports agreement with Keystone School District to host track was discussed.

“We had a tentative cooperative sports agreement with Keystone School District to host track, and that is no longer on the table,” said Stahlman.

Stahlman declined to comment if Keystone withdrew from the agreement.

Clarion Area has been using Clarion University facilities for many years.

“Since the university is here, is there something we can do to make it smoother for you guys?” asked Todd Bauer.

Wendy Snodgrass, Clarion University Athletic director, said she doesn’t think there has been an issue.

“We have a good working relationship with Clarion Area and the coaches,” said Snodgrass. “It’s been very clear that at 5 p.m. every day they have access to our facilities. We try not to overlap for recruiting reasons, so we have to make sure we are off at a certain time. I don’t think it’s been an issue, but it was brought to our attention that there were concerns related to our facility.”

Bauer said he heard concerns last week from Clarion Area people about getting on there earlier.

“It was mentioned that we could not get on there for competition earlier than 5 p.m.”

“This past year there have been changes with your league in moving the competition to Tuesdays and Thursdays,” said Snodgrass. “Those are our main training days for our athletes, and we need that full time until 5 p.m. to be able to train them along with academic issues and those types of things. We typically provide volunteers for your track meets, typically our student-athletes, and they still need to do their training to prepare for their competition.”

“We don’t have a problem as long as the meets can stay at 5 p.m. Previously, on Wednesdays, there was no issue at all.  It was just this last spring when the scheduled was changed, and that created a conflict.”

Bauer said there were three issues last week.

“Money, number of kids, and coordinating with the college. So, now we’re down to money and the kids.”

Both high school track coaches, Rosary Pennington and Dan Alderton, agreed that there were no real problems with the university.

Henry thanked people for their input. No action was taken.

In other business:

• Accepted the retirements of Andrea Larson – Secretary – effective June 8, Lorie Kropp – Secretary – effective June 30, and  Sharon Wagner – Food Services – effective June 30. The board also accepted the resignation of Nate McClaine as Assistant Football Coach.

• Accepted a $ 21,903.56 bid (with a $2,500 trade-in) by Elder Ag & Turf Equipment of Fairmount City for a John Deere 2025R Utility Tractor and related equipment.

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