Jersey Shore School Board approves yearly spending plan

JERSEY SHORE — District homeowners will see a tax raise following the Jersey Shore School Board passing its 2019-20 budget Monday, in a 6 to 2 vote.

Voting for the tax increase were Christopher Fravel, Karen Stover, John Pecchia, Mary Thomas, Kelley Wasson and Craig Allen. Voting no were Michelle Stemler and Merill Sweitzer.

Harry Brungard was absent.

By voting to go to 100 percent of the Act 1 index, $50 for every $100,000 of a property’s assessed value will be added to tax bills in Clinton County and $54 for every $100,000 of a property’s assessed value in Lycoming County.

For Clinton County district residents, the millage will be 13.46. For residents in Lycoming County, it will be 18.29 mills.

In other business, the board approved of $9,504 to be paid to R.E. Maher Inc. to fix the drainage in the high school’s pool.

During routine cleaning, Mike Wall, director of buildings and grounds, said it was discovered the pool’s drain was severely restricted.

“The pool water was drained during the month of March and in early April we had to do some extensive maintenance to the auditorium including the extensive cleaning of the pool surface,” he said.

The work included replacing damaged ceramic tiles, routing ties and gutter returns, painting brake lines, among other work.

“During the inspection, a main drain piping in the deep end of the pool, the piping was discovered to be considerably restricted with debris and other things that are used in the pool,” said Wall. “Once this was cleared, we televised the pipe about 12 to 15 feet on each side and we could see more signs of severe restriction.”

The cast iron pipe, which moves water from the deep-end of the pool to the filtering leads, has been in use for about 30 years and in that time has blistered and scaled, he added.

Although attempts were made to clean the pipes in-house, there was very little success.

The excavation company is expected to complete work by the end of the week and school district staff will begin to fill and treat the 199,000 gallon pool over the next month.

In reports, Superintendent Jill Wenrich said the district was awarded Pennsylvania 21st Century Community Learning Center Grant for $276,972 to give additional learning hours for students who are in need of it. Avis and Salladasburg students will also be allowed to attend the sessions, which will occur at Jersey Shore high school.

The school district will receive the funds over a 5-year period and will allow 120 students to benefit from the program. Failure to adhere to the grant’s tenants will result in defunding and the immediate end of the program.