Jan. 14—NANTICOKE — Greater Nanticoke Area joined a rapidly growing list of local school districts voting to keep any property tax increase for the 2022-23 school year within an annual state-set maximum known as the Act 1 Index. For Greater Nanticoke Area, this year the maximum is 5.2%
The index can vary year to year and district by district, but voting to stay within the limit does not mean there will be a tax increase. The vote gives the district until the end of May to make that decision and approve a preliminary budget, with approval of a final budget required by June 30.
A district can only exceed the limit either by getting state approval for exceptions or voter approval through a spring primary referendum. Pursuing those options requires approving a preliminary budget in early February.
The board also approved making Feb. 21, Presidents Day, a make-up day requiring school attendance, compensating for the closure of schools Sept. 20, 2021 due to having no water throughout the district. Board President Tony Prushinski cast the only no vote, saying that with the surge of COVID-19 sweeping Luzerne County, he would prefer the day be made up in June.
Students to return Jan. 18
Superintendent Ron Grevera re-affirmed plans to return students to classrooms on Jan. 18. The district went virtual Monday due to COVID-19 and staffing concerns.
In other business, the board:
—Approved the formation of a swim club in compliance with Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association rules.
—Accepted the resignation of David DeLuca as head softball coach, and agreed to advertise for applicants.
—Voted to have Kleinfelder proceed with geotechnical and infiltration testing at the existing running track and football field at a cost of $7,950.
—Approved participating with the WVIA Enhanced Scholar program at a cost of $2,375.
—Approved an agreement with the Luzerne Intermediate Unit to provide a Community and School Based Behavioral Health Team.
—Approved a deal with ConradSiegel to provide Affordable Care Act employer reporting at a cost of $6,850.
—Approved an agreement keeping Albert B. Melone Company as district business consultant through Dec. 1, 2022 at a one-year cost of $84,196.
—Agreed to purchase 600 Google Chromebooks from CDW-G at a cost of $153,300. The purchase is going through the Pennsylvania Education Purchasing Program for Microcomputers, a state system designed to keep costs down and allow districts to bypass bidding requirements. The computers will be paid for with federal COVID-19 relief funds.
—Accepted the resignations of cafeteria workers Kathleen Heddings and Michelle Bardo, head teacher Edward Grant, and custodian John Fisch.
—Appointed Mary Pliska as special education aide, David Prizniak as custodian, and Colleen Shepanski as Personal Information Management System coordinator at a salary of $40,000.
—Approved the purchase of seven Knoxbox 3200 high-security key lock boxes, designed to give emergency responders access to locked property in emergencies. The boxes are being bought through the City of Nanticoke Fire Department at a cost of $3,130.
Reach Mark Guydish at 570-991-6112 or on Twitter @TLMarkGuydish