The minutes of the April meeting were approved.
Director Gary Black was appointed Board Treasurer, effective July 1, 2015 through June 30, 2016.
In one motion, the Board approved the Treasurer’s Report; Bills Lists; List of Tax Adds, Exemptions, Exonerations; transportation changes; Chemung Canal Trust Company and First Citizens Community Bank as daily depositories for the 2015/2016 fiscal year; the retainer for legal counsel with Brann, Williams, Caldwell & Sheetz for the 2015/16 school year; the 2015/2016 IU17 Special Education contract; the 2015/2016 IDEA contracts; the Memorandum of Understanding between the school district and the Canton Area Education Association pertaining to a health care opt-out/buy-out provision effective July 1, 2015 through June 30, 2016; the state's distribution of gaming funds to provide homestead/farmstead relief per Act of 2006 in the amount of $298,351.00; and the Resolution concerning Northern Tier Career Center 2015/2016 Budget.
The board accepted the retirements of Holly Keegan, Title I Reading Teacher, with 24 years of service, effective June 8; Brenda Hilfiger, Dental Hygienist, with 14 years of service, effective June 5; and Patricia Pepper, Cafeteria, with 35 years of service, effective June 30. Mr. Herman thanked the retirees for their service.
These coach resignations were accepted: Brianna Watkins, Junior High Volleyball Coach; Kathy Coleman, Junior High Girls Basketball Coach. The resignation of Weldon ‘Jake’ Shaffer, assistant softball coach, was rescinded without practice or precedent, effective April 10.
These additions were made to the substitute list, pending completion of all required paperwork:
Shelly Edwards, paraprofessional; Joe Mohr, custodian/cafeteria; Debbie Smith, cafeteria
The board voted to add these names to the volunteer list. (all paperwork has been completed):
Trudy Moyer, CASD school volunteer, and Jacob Miller, CASD coach volunteer.
The Act 93 Compensation Plan was approved, effective July 1, 2015 through June 30, 2019
The directors approved the second reading of revised policies: No. 121 – Field Trip; No. 222 – Tobacco Use; and No. 307 – Student Teachers/Interns.
The High School tentative class list of 2015 was accepted.
The 2015/2016 PA Youth Survey was approved by the board. This will be administered to all 6th, 8th, 10th and 12th grade students at no charge to the district.
There were no visitor comments, but Mr. Holland remarked that the district could benefit from setting up a Foundation. He said the Keystone Foundation, at the district where his father served as Principal or taught for 35 years, received over $15,000 from donations upon his death, and said a scholarship has been established in his name. He said that Canton has a similar opportunity under the Community Foundation for the Twin Tiers. "Mr. Jannone informed me how this works," he said, "But I would be shocked if five percent of the residents know what this is. I like the idea of a Canton Foundation." He said this could be similar to the Troy and Loyalsock Foundations established by the late Robert Grantier when he served those districts. "It would take time and money," Mr. Holland said, 'but the benefits would exceed the costs."
He continued, "I would like to know what it would cost to set up our own Foundation. If it is too much and not cost-effective," it should not be tried. He said he knew of two people who each were willing to contribute $1,000 to such an entity. The district, he said, is missing out by not publicizing the means through which donations may be received or made tax-deductible. "We need to advertise it more," he said.
He suggested that many CHS alumni are investment advisors or lawyers who might do pro bono work on a Foundation.
Mr. Jannone responded "the only reason to have a Foundation is as a tax write-off."He said donations may be given to the school at any time, and if it benefits the whole population it can be written off, but donations earmarked to specific programs, such as sports or music, must be made through the CFTT if they are to be tax-deductible. He said the CFTT takes 5% as a fee but also can invest the money anywhere it deems prudent. The school can invest only in FDIC-insured instruments. He said these earn about a third of a percent, but the CFTT has earned 12%. Mr. Jannone agreed that the foundation should be advertised more than it is, but noted that all of the audit costs are covered by the CFTT, but a Foundation specific to Canton would have considerable audit costs each year. Mr. Allen said a foundation would have "so many benefits," and is a way for corporations to reduce their tax burden but keep the money local. Mr. Gordon said while he was at Northeast Bradford a foundation was set up. "We will try to work up information to give to the board," he said. Mr. Allen offered, "If the administrative costs take up 5%, you are better off with your own foundation."
Finally, Mr. Gordon raised the issue of a LERTA (Local Economic Revitalization Tax Assistance) measure. Canton Borough passed one for the Watson building (formerly the Swayze building) . Mr. Sheetz said the school district probably would have a public hearing at the next meeting and vote on a LERTA resolution. He explained a LERTA to the board. It grants an abatement of real estate taxes for a fixed period to businesses who renovate an abandoned, deteriorated property for the purpose of boosting employment. Only the increase in assessed value due to the improvement would be abated. The district would continue to collect the taxes assessed at the time of the LERTA.
The board held an executive session prior to tonight's meeting to discuss personnel and legal issues.