School district’s building usage fee guidelines still in the air

PUNXSUTAWNEY — The Punxsutawney Area School Board won’t charge the Mathog Wrestling Club for its winter tournament until March, but it still realizes no solid decisions on tweaking the existing building usage fee rates.

Business Administrator Susan Robertson said Tuesday that the usage fees were changed this summer, and Superintendent Dr. Keith Wolfe said there are three categories: School groups, non-profit groups and for-profit groups.

“But we want to define those categories more clearly and decide where everyone fits and develop a revised fee schedule, if needed,” Robertson said.

Wolfe said the committee looking at the fees schedule, Building & Grounds, seeks to cover costs for using district facilities, such as custodial rates and nominal fees.

Committee member Jack White said the Mathog Wrestling Club is applying for non-profit status, but even so, if it earns that distinction, it would still have to look at some fees for using, for example, the middle school, as a non-profit group.

“If they are holding huge fund-raisers, we would want them to help pay to use the building, at least so
the district is not taking on the entire cost,” Wolfe said.

It is a $3,250 fee to use district facilities as a for-profit group. The fee for a non-profit group is $2,000.

Board member Penny Pearce asked if the club “gets its ducks in a row,” it can be reimbursed the cost that it pays this year.

Solicitor David Young said achieving non-profit status takes a lot of planning and money, and the club would need to know what it’s facing in terms of fees, between the non-profit status and paying to use district facilities.

Board member Bob Pascuzzo’s suggestion to postpone billing the Mathog Wrestling Club until the March 7 board meeting was approved, but board Vice-President Francis Molinaro reiterated that the board has still not come very far on figuring out the usage fees for district facilities.

In other business Tuesday:

• Barb Postlewaite told the board that the former Mayor’s Drug Task Force has renamed itself the Punxsutawney Area Coalition Against Drugs (PACAD).

She said there was some confusion with the group’s former name, with some thinking that the group was the Jefferson County Drug Task Force, the actual body that performs drug sweeps and arrests.

Postlewaite said PACAD will hand out free mini-basketballs at all girls’ and boys’ home basketball games “to show the kids we’re there for them.”

The group also has a revised meeting list and will have a presence during Groundhog Day.

• Student board representatives Erin Butler and Kendall Neal said Student Government hosted a winter formal Dec. 4 with more than 500 students in attendance, although a canned food drive yielded mediocre results.

Also Tuesday, the board:

• Approved paying Renick Brothers Construction its final payment of $2,050 for the high school HVAC project per the architect’s application and certificate for payment.

• Appointed Robertson as the delegate and Robin Ishman and Wolfe as alternates to the Jefferson County tax Collection Committee under Act 32 requirements for 2011.

• Approved a LERTA application from the Punxsutawney Housing Limited Partnership for property at the corner of Pine and North Gilpin streets.

• Approved $8,434.46 for interactive whiteboards from Sage Technology.

• Approved board member Penny Pifer to again serve a one-year term on the IU 6 Board.

• Approved raising a rate increase for REACT from $175 to $250 per event for all athletic events.

Board member Jeff Martz said the rate increase is keeping in mind busy home football games.

Robertson also brought up two items the board will examine in January:

• Approved a resolution stating that the district doesn’t intend to raise real estate taxes above the index for the 2011-12 fiscal year.

• Approved financial statements and reports of independent public accountants for the fiscal year 2009-10.