BOE proceeds with PI levy

By Melanie Speicher -

SIDNEY — The second step necessary to place a permanent tax levy on the March 15, 2016, ballot was taken by Sidney City Schools Board of Education during its meeting Monday night.

The board approved a resolution to proceed to levy an additional tax in excess of the 10-mill limitation. The PI levy to be placed on the ballot will be a 3-mill for a period of five years. If approved, the levy would generate approximately $1.3 million a year for the district.

The resolution will now be given to the Shelby County Board of Elections.

A permanent improvement levy money is used for property, assets and improvements that have a life of five years or more. The money can be used for renovations, site improvement and the purchase of equipment. A PI cannot be used for employee salaries or benefits.

Each of the school buildings in the district is more than 50 years old with the exception of Sidney Middle School, which was built in 2003. Sidney High School was built in 1960 and renovated in 2004. Lowell Elementary School opened in 1950; Sidney Alternative School was built in 1930; Northwood was built in 1957; Emerson, Longfellow and Whittier elementary schools were all built in 1950.

The district’s permanent improvement levy expired in 2009. It was first approved in 1969 and renewed every five years until the board allowed it to expire in 2009 when the district was facing financial difficulties and couldn’t get the levy renewed.

The PI fund saw all its monies exhausted in 2011. In 2012, the district began transferring money from the general fund to the PI fund to continue to care for the buildings in the district.

In 2012, $150,000 was transferred to the general fund. In both 2013 and 2014, $250,000 each year was transferred. In 2015, $450,000 was transferred and in 2016, $350,000 has been transferred. A total of $1,4500,000 has been transferred from the general fund to the PI fund.

After meeting in executive session at the beginning of the meeting, the board approved the resignation of Matt Eaton, an intervention specialist at Sidney Middle School. Eaton had been on a medical leave of absence. The approval also included a settlement agreement with Eaton. The resolution passed 4-1 with board member Bob Smith voting no.

“It was a mutually agreed upon separation of employment,” said Superintendent John Scheu.

After the meeting, Smith said he voted no because “I disagreed with the terms of the settlement.”

In other business, the board:

Learned this is American Education Week. Scheu thanked all the employees in the school system. “The greatest strengths of the district is our staff,” he said. The theme for the week is “Great Public Schools: A Basic Right and Our Responsibility.”

• Approved the transfer of $91,828.13 from the general fund to the bond retirement fund for payment of principal and interest on the board of education building certificates of participation.

• Approved a purchased service agreement for two reserve officers — Keifer Graves and Kyle Gee — as substitute school security officers.

• Approved the resignations of Melissa Kinnison, bus driver, effective Nov. 20; Brad Barton, substitute teacher, effective Nov. 18; and Adam Zeller, SMS IS teacher, effective May 23, 2016. Zeller is a first year teacher, said Scheu, who has decided to take a different career path following his first year of teaching.

• Hired Ellen Brandon, Steve Corbin and Vicki Fulk as substitute teachers. All three are retired teachers from the district.

• Hired Scott Cromes, substitute bus driver at $14.62 an hour; Tara Henderson, substitute cook at $9.14 an hour; and Danielle Albright, substitute aide at $10.61 per hour.

• Awarded supplemental contracts to John Young, musical director, $2,812; and Christian Taylor, ninth-grade boys basketball coach, $879.

• Awarded Vicki Fulk a supplemental contract to work athletic events per OHSAA guidelines.

• Approved an unpaid leave of absence for Jennifer Rose, Longfellow teacher, effective Dec. 1, 2015, through March 29, 2016.

• Approved revised policies in the administration, professional staff, classified staff, operations and relations policy manuals.

The board’s next meeting will be Monday, Dec. 7, at 6 p.m. at the BOE office.

By Melanie Speicher

Reach the writer at 937-538-4822; follow her on Twitter @MelSpeicherSDN. Follow the SDN on Facebook,

Reach the writer at 937-538-4822; follow her on Twitter @MelSpeicherSDN. Follow the SDN on Facebook,