Tipp BOE tables approval of staff wellness funds

TIPP CITY — Tipp City Board of Education discussed the roofing issues for Nevin Coppick Elementary School during its meeting Monday night. They also addressed the Staff Wellness budget, pay-to-play for sports and clubs and an economic development proposal.

Originally, the roofing contractor was supposed to present the issues and recommended actions, but due to a prior engagement, the Board heard from a representative from WesTech about water damage to the ceiling and internal roof and what that could mean for the Nevin Coppick Elementary School building. WesTech is responsible for inspections related to internal water damage contaminants such as asbestos.

WesTech was called to inspect water damage from a leak that happened last summer. The board was informed that extensive patching of the roof on Nevin Coppick Elementary School is allowing water under the roof surface and affecting the internal ceiling. The WesTech representative was unable to answer all the Board’s questions regarding the roof and recommended actions.

In 2018, the board was informed that the roof was recommended to be replaced and was estimated to cost around $750,000. The current board members were unaware of this recommendation until recently when WesTech and the roofing contractor returned to inspect the most recent leak.

“At the end of the day, from my perspective, our board right now and probably the last three or four boards, are being presented a bill that has been coming due for decades. We have not invested in our schools’ maintenance and repair the way we should have, and now we are where we are,” said Board President, Simon Patry.

The Nevin Coppick building is safe for occupancy and further discussion will be held by the board to determine the best course of action for the district.

The Staff Wellness budget was a large topic of discussion at Monday’s meeting as well. The transfer of $20,000 from the General Fund to the Staff Wellness Fund is recommended for approval by the board. The Staff Wellness Fund takes care of salary, benefits, different healthy lunch options for staff, wellness incentives, events like Relay for Life and other challenges and events to promote healthy lifestyles to teachers and staff members.

The board raised multiple concerns about the potential transfer of funds. Board member Anne Zakkour voiced her concerns for how much money is being pulled from the General Fund. Patry also mentioned concerns of not knowing exactly where this money is going.

“I’m sure it’s a great program, I’m sure it’s doing great things, but as a board member I’m being asked to transfer $20,000 to a program I’m not sure what it stems from, what’s its authorization is, what it’s doing and what’s been budgeted. So, I think there’s a lot of questions for me that need to be answered,” said Patry.

A motion was made by Richard Mains to table the discussion due to the multiple questions raised. Amber Drum seconded the motion to table the discussion. Drum, Patry, Mains and Zakkour all voted to table the discussion until the work session on Sept. 12.

The request to transfer $5,425 from the Pay-to-play funds, located in the General Fund, to the marching band activity budget was another big discussion topic at Monday’s meeting.

The pay-to-play funds come from students involved in sports or clubs like marching band. Currently, the funds from the pay-to-play payments are stored in the General Fund and distributed on a case-by-case basis to different sports and activities.

The pay-to-play funds are in the General Fund and the amounts contributed by each sport or club is calculated based on the number of students participating in a group. The number of participants is kept by the coach or director of the team or group. For students that participate in multiple sports or groups, there is a cap on the amount of pay-to-play fees they must pay. However, The Board is unclear on what exactly the capping number is, and students are responsible for knowing if they have reached that cap.

The discussion focused on how to better organize the pay-to-play fees, determine caps on the fees and how to better the system overall. The board approved moving money into the marching band activity budget. Later in the meeting, the Board included further discussion of pay-to-play fees in their requests for future agenda items.

The economic development proposal for the approval of the Community Reinvestment Area Agreement was also approved. The proposal will allow a new warehouse to be built along County Road 25A. Developing the land and building the warehouse will bring an estimated $58,660 a year into the school district from property tax revenue.

“My job here today is to look at the fiscal health of our school district and look at what this means from a tax perspective to our school district and community,” said Patry.

In other business the board:

• Reviewed and approved the monthly financial report from July 2022. The report was approved with a 4-1 vote. Mains abstained.

• Updated the checkbook. The checkbook can be viewed online at https://checkbook.ohio.gov/.

• Updated time and costs of public records requests since the July 25 board meeting.

• Approved all consent agenda items.

• Approved hiring a PowerSchool consultant.

• Approved Junior State of America (JSA) as a new extra-curricular activity at the high school. The vote was 3-1 with Zakkour abstaining.

• Approved the Competition Cheerleading Stipend.

• Approved hiring of supplemental positions for the 2022-23 school year.

• Entered Executive Session from 9:16-11:14 p.m. No action was taken

The Tipp City Board of Education will meet for their work session on Monday, Sept. 12, at 5 p.m.