Sidney BOE approves tax abatement with city of Sidney

By Melanie Speicher -

SIDNEY — A tax sharing agreement with the city of Sidney was approved Monday night by the Sidney City Schools Board of Education.

The agreement, which goes into effect Sept. 23, 2019, is with Sidney Hometown Investments for a Community Reinvestment Area (CRA) property tax abatement.

Sidney City Council adopted a resolution at its Sept. 9 meeting allowing the city to enter into a CRA tax abatement agreement with Sidney Hometown Investments for investing in real property improvements. The total new project investment is estimated at $1,735,000 for the acquisition of the property, the addition and new construction, improvements to the building and equipment and furnishings/fixtures. The Housing Council, which met on Aug. 21, recommended a 15-year, 100 percent abatement based on the amount of the investment and benefit to Sidney’s downtown and community.

The project — a new Italian restaurant — will be located in the former Fifth Third building,101 S. Ohio Ave.

The board also approved a one-time payment for up to 6.9 vacation days to Jason McLain at a rate of $405.29 per day.

Treasurer Mike Watkins said all employees were asked to use their vacation days so everyone is brought into compliance with board policy. Because a lot of McClain’s responsibilities increase during the summer months — especially with moving equipment from building to building — he was unable to use all his vacation time during the year.

“Once his days are bought back, everyone will be in compliance with board policy,” said Watkins.

Personnel items were also approved by the board.

Items included:

• Accepting the resignations of Brandy Allen, assistant cook; Valerie Schroer, librarian; Andrew Mitchell, assistant Academia coach; and Melissa Kinnison, bus driver.

• Hired Cheryl Clark, Stephanie Crosby, Jeanine Holthaus, Alysha Kroeger, Tracy Nuss, Tori Purk, Bridget Steed, Kelly Thorne, Shauna Vordemark and Michael Ward as home instructor tutors on an as-needed basis. They will be paid $27.63 [er hour.

• Hired Lisa Campbell, assistant cook at Sidney High School at $11.88 per hour; and Margaret Liesner, assistant cook, Sidney Middle School, at $11.48 per hour.

• Hired William Deal, substitute bus driver, $17.47 per hour; Brandy Allen, substitute cook, $10.34 per hour; Steve Corbin, substitute custodian, $14.39 per hour; Valerie Schroer, substitute secretary, $14.48 per hour; and Jerry Inman, substitute maintenance, $15.60, on a one-year limited as-needed contract.

• Hired Marissa Clark as the junior varsity girls soccer coach at $2,187.

• Hired Shelley Wroda, Stacey Goffena, Brandyn Heitman and Joel Turner as academia coaches for T-School. They each will be paid $696.

In other business, the board:

• Learned the State Foundation money for the first two-months of the new fiscal year is the same amount the district received at the end of the 2018-19 school year. Watkins said once student enrollment is submitted to the state — which includes the preschool program — the district will see an increase in its foundation money. It will also receive payment for the amount not received.

• Approved the annual appropriations.

• Approved a motion to authorize the Southwestern Ohio Educational Purchasing Council to advertise and receive bids for one school bus for the district.

• Approved an agreement with the Midwest Regional Educational Service Center for an early childhood intervention specialist at a cost of $47,740.16.

• Approved Doug Huelskamp Construction to construct a 40-foot by 64-foot barn at a cost of up to $60,000. The barn will store the district’s trucks and equipment. It will be an addition to the existing building. The cost of the building, said Watkins, was included in this year’s budget. The building is located on the land on state Route 29 which the district purchased earlier in the year.

• Approved a revised Sidney Education Association agreement, which according to Superintendent Bob Humble, “has some language cleaned up” and includes teacher work days. The SEA, he said, already approved the revised contract. The agreement is from Aug. 1, 2017 through July 31, 2021. Humble thanked Director of Curriculum Brooke Gessler for taking the lead on the project.

• Appointed Jayne Evans as a district representative for ETR/IEP meetings.

• Heard an update from board member Mandi Croft about House Bill 154.

• Heard an update from board member Chip Hix on the Aug. 26 Upper Valley Career enter board meeting.

The board will hold a special board meeting on Sept. 24 beginning at 5:30 p.m. to discuss the possibility of placing an emergency levy on the March 10, 2020, ballot.

The board’s next regular meeting is set for Monday, Oct. 21, 2019, at 6 p.m. in the board office.

By Melanie Speicher

Reach the writer at 937-538-4822.

Reach the writer at 937-538-4822.