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Lakota property tax revenues up $400,000

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By RON CRAIG
STAFF WRITER

Members of Lakota Local Schools’ board of education received good financial news from District Treasurer Norm Elchert at their meeting Monday night.
During his monthly report to the board, Elchert said property tax revenues are up $400,000 this year as compared to the same time last year. While he said the timing of receipt of the property taxes may have some part in the increase, he also noted expenses have not increased this year as much as had been forecast.
Superintendent Jon Detwiler also informed board members the school is updating lights inside the building, replacing them with LED fixtures. The new lights are expected to pay for themselves in electricity consumption savings in nine months.
The school will get a 40-percent rebate on the cost of the new light fixtures, and after the initial nine-month period, the district will see continued electrical usage savings each month.
The other major topic of the meeting, discussion on hiring a school resource officer, took place in an executive session.
School officials have been mulling for some time ways in which they can enhance the security of the schools, but funding has been an issue. A recent breakthrough by Detwiler, however, may pave the way for the hiring of an SRO.
Detwiler told the Review Times last week he met recently with Sandusky County Sheriff Chris Hilton. Detwiler came away from that meeting feeling good about the prospects of the sheriff’s office providing assistance with the SRO issue.
Detwiler said additional funding is expected from a grant to hire a law enforcement officer to instruct an anti-drug D.A.R.E. program, which would be part of the SRO’s duties.
The hiring of an SRO, along with other possible security measures for the school, have been topics of discussion recently by board members during other executive sessions. There was no formal action taken by the board following Monday night’s executive session, however.
In other business, the board approved a 24-month contract with Jefferson County Educational Service Center, beginning July 1. The contract will allow students to make up certain classes online while at the local school.
The contract also includes a summer school program at Lakota from June 1 this year through Aug. 31, 2018.
Detwiler said the cost of the contract is $1,000 for both years and is the same price the district had previously paid for a one-year contract.
A service provider contract for Internet service between Northern Ohio Education Computer Association and the school was also approved.
Several personnel issues were given the nod by board members Monday night as well.
Corrections from resignations to retirements were granted for bus operator Phillip Frisch and cook Debra Brickner. Both had retired, but board action last month incorrectly listed their separations as resignations.
Resignations/retirements for Lucianne Bowlus, classified substitute, bus operator Gloria Weber, and Viola Wasserman, paraprofessional, were accepted by the board.
Contracts for several certified personnel also gained board approval. The contracts include those for after-school tutors Aaron Brown and Heather Eubank, as well as for substitute teachers Jason Andres, Jill Kuhlman, Hannah Shank and Melissa Jensen.
Contracts were also granted for substitute teacher Christopher Elchert, four-hour cook Sarah Brubaker, paraprofessional Julie Knallay and classified substitute teacher Donna Davis.
The only athletic supplemental contract considered and approved Monday was for Amy Gosche, high school assistant softball coach.
A policy was adopted to allow electronic funds transfers, after the issue was given its second reading.

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