Troy schools treasurer says economic forecast uncertain


TROY — The Troy City Schools Board of Education met using video technology for its regular meeting on Monday.

Superintendent Chris Piper, treasurer Jeff Price, president of the board Tom Kleptz and other support staff attended the meeting at the board office while board members and other staff joined through the Zoom video meeting platform.

Price reviewed the district’s finances, noting savings are noted in the substitute teacher salary and supply area of the report.

Price said general real estate property tax have been higher than estimated, mainly due to an issue with American Honda that filed an evaluation adjustment a year ago. Price said they’ve been working with the county auditor and the company’s legal team to settle the matter, which may end up with the district paying back the funds if it is not finalized with the company in the near future. Price said all parties are in an agreement to lower the property tax, but are waiting on the company’s final documents to make it official. The Honda distribution plant was part of the city’s enterprise zone program, which phased out last year.

Price said he doesn’t know what to anticipate with how the district will be impacted by local earned income tax and the rise in unemployment.

“It will take time before we see an impact since things are filed on a quarterly basis,” Price said. “With federal income tax, we may see a slight decline in the July settlement, but more so in the October settlement.”

Price said local property tax collection may not be impacted, but noted Franklin County announced it was considering the delay of collection, which other counties may or may not adopt.

“Honestly, the sooner we can return to somewhat of a normalcy, the better,” Price said.

The board approved a resolution to officially adopt distance learning.

“There really wasn’t legal precedent to have school virtually for months on end so this is to make sure the legal issues were resolved before they happen,” Piper said.

Piper said Chromebooks were distributed to students quickly. Staff and administration are working on how to follow up with students to check in on participation.

“(We are) making sure students are engaged more than anything,” Piper said. “We still have a responsibility to make sure our kids are in school.”

Doug Trostle said Troy’s plan was implemented very well and it didn’t seem as the district was “scrambling” to make plans when the state shut down schools on March 13.

Piper said district meals have been up and down throughout the month. Piper said it’s been “pretty spikey” serving children, which may be due to finding other sources. Piper said the district is coordinating with The Rec and Lincoln Community Center and are all working together.

Piper said the district will begin to form a contingency plan for graduation this week, although there were no official plans discussed.

Human resources director Mark Barhorst said the district didn’t have many retirements this spring. Barhorst said he was working with communication director David Fong on ways to honor those who are retiring from the district. Retirees were traditionally recognized at the May board meeting.

Forest Elementary Principal Paul Holbein applied to resign on condition he was to be hired as the district’s dean of students as of July 31. Barhorst said the district had a pool of 64 applicants, narrowed down to 12 and three of those are interdistrict applicants. A principal should be selected by the end of the month.

The board accepted a resolution to allow teachers to opt in or out of the evaluation process. The discretion can be made on a case by case basis and staff will work with the principal to conduct the evaluation online or start over next year.

Unemployment and its impact unknown due to virus

By Melanie Yingst

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