At the Elizabethtown school board’s latest workshop meeting, no changes were made to the district’s proposed $60.9 million budget for the 2017-18 school year. And, unlike the previous meeting, no citizens commented on the plan, which calls for a 4.75 percent tax increase, with the rate rising from 19.9 to 20.845 mills.
The increase would mean an additional $130.69 on a house with Elizabethtown’s median assessed value of $138,300, according to information previously provided by the district. The board plans to vote on the budget at its next action meeting, set for 6 p.m. on Tuesday, June 20, at the high school.
In other matters in the workshop meeting on Tuesday, June 13, board members discussed plans to partner with a new food service vendor. Business manager George Longridge reported that the Pennsylvania Department of Education approved the district’s proposed contract with Scottsdale, Ariz.-based Southwest Foodservice Excellence. Currently, the district has a self-operated food service.
Longridge said the “very progressive” company would offer “exciting initiatives,” including healthy food alternatives. He said his checks on the company were “highly complimentary.” The company also guarantees a $24,000 return the first year, he said. That money would go to the food service fund, which is separate from the general fund.
Superintendent Michele Balliet noted that 80 percent of SFE meals are made from scratch. She also stated that the district is not looking at increasing menu prices, although some increases are possible later. And future opportunities “down the road” could include food trucks, other vendors and food served outside traditional lunchtime.
Balliet also emphasized that the current food service staff will remain.
“We are maintaining all of our existing staff. We are not outsourcing and getting rid of our own people,” she said. But when a worker retires or leaves, SFE will hire the replacement.
The board plans to vote on the SFE contract at the meeting on Tuesday, June 20.
In other business, the board did take voting action to ratify agreements for the Bainbridge Elementary School renovation project, which is slated to start Monday, June 19. These are storm water management and escrow agreements with Conoy Township and the Bainbridge Water Authority.
Also, the board agreed to donate the school’s old playground equipment and flagpole to Conoy Township. Longridge said that the township supervisors were interested in using the playground equipment in one of the township parks.
Longridge also discussed proposed changes to the athletic insurance, which is offered to all school athletes. The changes, including caps on physical therapy and surgical fees, would slow down the rapid increase in insurance costs, he said.