By MORGAN MANNS
At a special meeting Tuesday, the Bettsville School Board of Education appointed an interim treasurer.
Jaime Pearson, treasurer of Old Fort Local Schools, was selected by the Bettsville board as an interim treasurer to replace former treasurer, Roger Luhring.
According to Bettsville School board president Michelle Davis, Luhring will not be returning to work, as the board is working on his termination. He is currently on paid administrative leave. She declined to comment on the reasons why, although she previously stated the board was looking into allegations concerning Luhring. He was also placed on leave last October for slow payments of district services.
“We’re already sharing resources with Old Fort,” she said. “If we are a district next year, we’d like to continue sharing as many services as possible.”
Davis said Pearson, who was the treasurer at Fostoria City Schools before taking the job at Old Fort, has been helping the district financially by looking at the districts numbers during the possible transfer of Bettsville to Old Fort.
Bettsville was placed under a fiscal emergency at the beginning of February, with an estimated debt of $775,000, causing the district to consider a merger between them and Old Fort school district.
Bettsville District would become a campus of the Old Fort School District. The Bettsville building would be utilized as a K-6 school, while students’ grades 7-12 would move to the Old Fort High School.
“Right now the hold up is (Bettsville’s) debt is too large,” Davis said. “Old fort doesn’t feel comfortable taking on that debt for their district.”
Davis said there are still many steps that the district must take before a decision is made on whether or not to combine the districts. She said the districts have been in contact with the Ohio Department of Education, the Local Government Innovation Fund, the auditor’s office, the senator’s office and other various organizations to keep the process moving.
“From what I understand from all of these entities, is that they are on board with this,” Davis said. “We want to get the numbers as accurate as possible before moving forward, but we don’t know what the next step is going to be.”
Davis said there have not been any further meetings set up at this time.
“It’s the best thing for both communities, both districts,” she said. “It will give the kids more opportunities both academically and with extra-curricular activities.”