Sale of Iberia, Johnsville school properties officially approved
By Sarah Einselen, Galion Inquirer Reporter
The Iberia and Johnsville school properties are officially going back to those communities.
The Northmor Board of Education approved the sale of the land on which the old school buildings formerly sat at its regular meeting Thursday, March 15. The Perry/Congress Fire Department in Johnsville won the Johnsville auction with a $13,000 bid and the Washington Township trustees made a $10,000 winning bid on the Iberia property. Both parcels were auctioned off on Feb. 18.
Morrow County resident Roland Sautter asked the board during public comment why it didn’t simply give the Iberia land to the township rather than making the trustees pay for it.
“I fail to understand why I’ve been paying taxes on it since 1956 and I have to buy it back and pay for improvements,” he said. “I’m going to have to pay taxes on it again for the $10,000 plus any improvements that have to be made.”
Board vice president Carlyle Smith replied that the board went through processes required by the Ohio School Facilities Commission regarding disposal of the old school properties. No interested parties came forward when the existing buildings and land they sat on were made available for sale, he said, so the buildings were razed and the land put up at auction.
Community member Dean VanHorn, also in attendance, said that when property is transferred from one government entity to another, state law says there has to be money exchanged or an equal trade made. If the property had been sold to the township trustees for $1, he said, the school would have lost out and others would have been unhappy.
“There’s two sides to it,” VanHorn said.
Northmor’s 2012–2013 school calendar was approved and scheduled classes to start on the Wednesday after Labor Day as in years past. That will put the year’s start after the end of the county fair, superintendent Brent Winand noted.
The board authorized school administration to advertise for bids on replacement bleachers at the football and track fields. Winand noted the booster club has said they’re willing to dismantle the existing bleachers. They will be rebuilt at the baseball and softball fields and any leftover aluminum sold to a nearby school district that has expressed interest.
A request from high school science teacher B.J. Trainer to take the science club on an out-of-state trip to Chicago over April 16–18 was approved. The club will visit the planetarium and aquarium there. Costs for the trip will be covered by the students, not the district.
The board approved contracts with the North Central Ohio and North Point educational service centers for services for special needs students. NCOESC will supply audiology services at $77 per hour plus travel reimbursement for a hearing-impaired student who needs the services for testing.
The contract with North Point covers services for a residential student at Flat Rock Education Center at a cost of $31,000.
“Obviously that dollar amount is high,” Winand said, adding most of it will be reimbursed by the state, based on the kind of disability the student has.
Several chaperones for the eighth grade trip to Washington, D.C. were approved at $25 per night, and Dean VanHorn was hired as a bus mechanic for the remainder of the school contract year. VanHorn will receive $187 per day until the next contract year, at which time he’ll be paid according to the school’s pay schedules.
Maternity leave requests from Amber Wheeler and Stephanie Uhde were also approved. Uhde, a fifth grade social studies teacher, will leave in early April and expects to return on May 28. Wheeler, a high school family and consumer sciences teacher, asked to take her leave in September and then take the remainder of the 2012–2013 year off without pay.
Elementary principal Becky Oliver said the family fun night on March 5 was extremely well-attended. The first through third-grade junior spelling bee will take place on March 29. First and second-grade music programs will be presented on April 17 and the kindergarten music program is scheduled for May 24.
All board members except Tim Bachelder were present for the March 15 meeting. The next Northmor school board meeting will be held at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 19, in the junior/senior high school library. The public is encouraged to attend.