BY PAT FARNELLI
The Montrose Area School Board voted Monday night to pay $2,500 to the Frontier Chemical Royal Avenue Sinte PRP Group to resolve any potential liability of theMontroseAreaSchool Districtregarding a landfill site in upstateNew York.
Superintendent Michael F. Ognosky said that back in the early 1990s, the school district “had stuff to dispose of, like chemicals and older computers. This was a dump, a landfill site, that was accepting waste, and we disposed of stuff there, along with about 10,000 other customers.”
The settlement offer is pending approval by the district solicitor, but Ognosky said, “My recommendation is to make this payment and get it settled.”
He said that eight years ago, a settlement agreement was offered, but the $2,000 had gone up to $2,500.
The site is in violation of New York Department of Environmental Conservation regulations.
The board approved the payment.
School board members had questions about several of the items under the finance committee part of the agenda.
One question was why budget transfers were necessary. Business manager Michelle Lusk said that the finance committee had worked through these transfers with the auditors, and that the transfers were mainly for professional services, emotional support services, tuition for a multi-handicapped student, and for students in programs at the Susquehanna County Career andTechnologyCenter.
Board member Chris Caterson asked, “Why were we so grossly under-budgeted for the Career andTechnologyCenterstudents?” The amount of the transfer for the SCCTC shortfall was for $124,000.
Lusk said that the money for these services had been budgeted, and was largely being transferred from other funds designated for these services, such as other special education accounts. She said the auditors had worked through the proposed budget transfers as part of the local audit.
Also in question was an update to a previous motion from June 29 regarding the board’s intention to commit funds as per GASB 54.
“This motion declares the board’s commitment in the amount of $995,232 from the June 30 fund balance in order to offset future anticipated costs in retirement expence in accordance with the regulation of GASB 54,” the agenda read.
According to Caterson and Ognosky, the commitment needed to be recorded in the school board minutes, “that we specifically set aside this money,” which will be taken from the gas lease funds that the district has received.
Ognosky said that most of the $667,269.20 total cost of the administration building has been paid, except for about 50 cents owed to the electrical contractor, and another $2,000 still to be paid.
There was a question about the VISA bills for the district. Ognosky explained that a number of the bills paid through VISA, particularly the larger items, are for equipment and other products ordered by the technology department.
“The managers have credit cards, and they attach a detailed credit card reconciliation and any purchase orders or packing slips to the VISA bills when they are submitted,” Ognosky said.
All of the line items purchased with the VISAs were already budgeted, he said.
The Practical Physics Club was approved for a student activity account, with William Host as adviser, a non-paid position.
Kathy Whitmore, wrestling cheerleader advisor; Barry Wheaton, boys’ basketball coach; and Amy Auckland, cook, submitted resignations that were accepted with regret.
Kelly Robinson was employed as wrestling cheerleader adviser.
The next board meeting will be held on Monday, Nov. 14
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