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Watkins has $1.5M in reserves; but health plan may dissolve

    WATKINS GLEN—Business Manager Gayle Sedlack reported that the Watkins Glen Central School District has $1,506,312 in available reserves and unallocated fund balance monies, during the Monday, Oct. 1, school board meeting.
    Sedlack reported on the funds as a follow-up to last month’s auditor’s report.  Sedlack said the audit noted the use of reserve funds last year as one of the few areas of concern.  The auditor had mentioned many other schools did the same thing and that Watkins Glen had reduced staff to cut costs.  Sedlack said in the 2012-13 school year $1,230,000 of the fund balance was allocated and $1,925,000 in the 2011-12 school year.
    Sedlack added that at their current debt levels, they are at an “optimum time to go forward with the capital project.”  She said she based this off of a debt payment that was made last school year.
    The audit was approved later in the meeting.
    In other business:
    • Superintendent Tom Phillips said the healthcare program offered to schools in the GST BOCES region is in trouble and could dissolve.  He said if that happens, the cost to Watkins Glen would be between $1.5 million and $1.7 million to find a new program.  Phillips added that the committee behind the program is meeting Oct. 15 to start to address the problem.  He explained that the affected schools include Odessa-Montour, Elmira Heights, and Waverly.
    • Phillips addressed questions he was asked at a League of Women Voters Luncheon concerning consolidation.  He explained the district is interested in looking at shared services with other schools and how the districts will be impacted down the road.  Board President Brian O’Donnell said “we should know where we’re going before the state tells us where to go.”  For a related story, see page 1.
    • The board approved Michael G. Wales to serve as the school district’s psychologist per diem as needed.  Phillips said the previous official resigned, but the district still needs one to run tests as required by the Committee on Special Education (CSE).
    • Winter coaching appointments were approved: varsity boys basketball, John Fazzary; volunteer boys basketball assistant, David Waite; JV boys basketball, Jim Scott; modified “B” boys basketball, Ben Connelly; varsity girls basketball, Chris Clark; volunteer girls basketball assistant, Harold Chaffee; JV girls basketball, Alicia Learn; modified “B” girls basketball, Colin Pritchard; varsity boys swimming, Jennifer Conklin; varsity wrestling, Nils Watson; modified “A” wrestling, Dale Irwin; modified “B” girls volleyball, Ann Messenger; varsity bowling, Ward Brower; and varsity cheerleading, Marcy Brubaker & Alycia Bianco.  Phillips added that is pending the person updating their certification.
    • The board adopted a revised concussion management policy.
    • Two resignations were accepted: Diane Crane as food service helper and Lisa Donajkowski as cleaner.
    The next school board meeting is scheduled for Monday, Oct. 15.  It is anticipated to start at 6:30 p.m., following a 5:45 p.m. executive session.



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