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08-17-04 Celina school board rehires three who retired

By Janie Southard

  Three retired Celina City Schools employees were rehired at Monday's board of education meeting with only one dissenting vote.

  Casting his "no" vote, Ken Fetters held to his opinion expressed at last month's meeting that rehiring retired employees is not a big cost saver and also that qualified younger teachers are available.
  The board rehired Assistant Principal Jerry Harris at $56,962 (level three salary schedule), occupational work adjustment teacher Jon Clouse and Latin teacher John Roth, both at $46,946. Both teachers come back at step 10 on the salary schedule. All three will come back with one-year contracts.
  At the required public meeting held in late July, district Superintendent Fred Wiswell announced his intention to recommend the rehiring of the three retired employees. He stated the district will save more than $14,000 per employee, due to not providing benefits for those employees.
  Another savings on the horizon lies with the possible refinancing of the bond levy passed in November 1995 to finance building the intermediate school as well as additions and renovations to other district buildings.  "It's like homeowners refinancing their mortgage to take advantage of lower interest rates," explained district Treasurer Mike Marbaugh.
  More than $13.7 million of the original $17.5 million debt is now available for refinance and board members approved the legislation for Marbaugh to proceed.
  "The market has been up and down since July. So we're waiting for the right moment to go out for bid. We're closely watching the rates. We may try next week," he said.
  He anticipates a savings to taxpayers, but couldn't say how much until the interest rate is known.
  All new windows are in place and good to go at Celina East Elementary School, according to Business Manager Mike McKirnan. All that remains to be done on this project is to install a couple handles in the cafeteria, which McKirnan expects to be completed today.
  On another matter, he said Coldwater school administration has approached him about renting the gymnasium at Franklin Elementary School, which was closed following the 2002-03 school year in the wake of budget reductions. Coldwater rented the classrooms in the school last year and will again this year while renovations are underway to the Coldwater school.
  "We haven't discussed numbers yet. It's for the varsity and junior high wrestling teams, and we haven't studied what all may be involved. I just wanted you to know Coldwater has expressed interest," McKirnan said.
  Gearing up for the start of the new school year next Tuesday, the board approved more than 120 substitute classified and certified staff.
  Supplemental contracts in support of the athletic department were approved by the board, which leaves only "a couple spring sports positions to be filled," said Wiswell.


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