Avon Grove Taxpayers for Responsible Spending


        Citizens, Parents, and Schools working together to bring Avon Grove into the 21st Century!

Facilities and Finance Committee Meetings
October 16, 2018

Facilities Committee Meeting

The Facilities Committee includes: Mr Jeff Billig (Chair), Mr John Auerbach, and Mr Herman Engel.  Mr Auerbach and Mr Herman attended the meeting with the following items being discussed:

Facilities Projects for Summer 2018
Mr Scott Millward, Supervisor of Buildings and Grounds described the projects that were completed over the summer.
High School (HS)
Synthetic turf was replaced in the 2 back fields ($979K)
HS  lobby was upgraded ($18,138) and the large window in the cafeteria was tinted ($3499)  to improve the security for the students
HVAC system in the Main Office was repaired ($6154)
 Installation of cameras for the gym and HS entrance are in progress ($12,400)
Leaks in the roof continue to be repaired ($35K)

Fred S. Engle Middle School
Parking Lot Seal Coating and Repairs completed ($25K)

Avon Grove Intermediate (AGI)
Natural Gas Water Heater from PLE installed ($10K)
Lobby and Office Security Improvements completed ($12K)
Macadam at Traffic Light Intersection repaired ($3680)

Penn London Elementary (PLE)
Carpet in pods replaced ($10K)
Casework and Countertops replacement in the Art Room in progress ($24K)

District Office
Boiler replaced ($156,990)
Replacement of the AC system ($200K) is planned for Summer 2019.

HS Turf and Track
Mr Millward described the poor condition of the turf in the main competition field ($542 to replace) and the track ($329K to re-coat and seal/paint).The Facilities Committee agreed that both needed to be replaced.The plan is to replace the turf as soon as the fall sports finish in 2018 and then replace the track during the summer 2019.Mr. Auerbach stated that we need to invest and maintain these facilities at the current high school because the current design of the new high school does not include a stadium for competitions.

Facility Use
Mr Millward recommended that Policy 707 regarding the public use of school facilities including the sports fields be reviewed along with the fee structure.It was agreed that the Policy Committee would review Policy 707 and that the Facilities Committee could review the fee structure.It is expected that this review will take some time.There was also a commitment to give the affected groups plenty of notice of any changes.The current policy can be viewed here: https://www.boarddocs.com/pa/avongrove/Board.nsf/goto?open&id=9X4M6659A70B

Mr Dumont suggested that the Communication Committee also be brought into any discussion.

Improvements to the Current HS
Mr Auerbach once again asked what improvements could be done to the HS in 2018-2019 to make it more accommodating for the current students.The administration stated that a design for the new HS should be completed before there is any discussion on what the design will be for the current HS.The administration believes that the design plans for the current HS are needed before any decision can be made on how to improve the current HS.Mr Millward went on to say that the current HS is meeting the education needs of the students and the HS principal has not identified any items that need to be improved now.

Finance Committee Meeting

The Finance Committee includes: Mr Herman Engel (Chair), Ms Lynn Weber, and Ms Bonnie Wolff.  All attended this meeting.  The following items were presented at the meeting:
Board Training
Mr Carsley described the type of funds used by school district, how the funds relate to each other, and any restrictions on their use.He then went on to describe the budget process and pointed out that 16.2% or $15,760,957 of the school budget is subject to control by the school board.

Ms Weber requested that the format for the budget be revised so that it is clearer how various parts of the budget have changed over the years. Mr Auerbach and Mr Dumont supported Ms Weber’s request.Mr Auerbach also requested that there be a consistent format for the budget that is used at each budget meeting.This would make it easier to identify any changes.

Act 1 Index/AG Adjusted Index
The Act 1 Adjusted Index for Avon Grove School District is 3.0% for 2019.This is the maximum property tax increase that could be implemented in the next budget cycle without using special exceptions.

Safety Security Agreement
The objective of the agreement is to continue the current relationship with a local security expert.The person has been working with the school district for free.This agreement will formalize the relationship and will allow for payment for services.The administration is pursuing grant money to pay for any expenses incurred through June 30th.

AGIS PTA Request
The AGIS PTA requested that some of the members of the Criminal Justice Program at the Technical College High School (TCHS) be used as security at their Christmas fundraiser.The Finance Committee agreed.

Hospital Sale Update
Legal action is continuing to contest the tax exempt status by Tower Health and subsequent loss of revenue to the school district.Documents regarding expert witnesses are currently being reviewed.

 State Auditors
The final results of the State audit will be presented in November.  There was a finding in the audit related to transportations reimbursement.  Post meeting - more information on that finding is available in the following article entitled: Audit uncovers $115,000 overpayment by Avon Grove School District  https://www.southernchestercountyweeklies.com/news/local/audit-uncovers-overpayment-by-avon-grove-school-district/article_062ec98c-d2e0-11e8-a470-abe7b129a0c7.html

Escrow Account for Penn Township
There was a request from Penn Township for $15,000 for an escrow fund designed to deal with expenses incurred for the new high school site by the Township.

*Call to Action
It is important that your voice is heard.  It is critical that community members attend upcoming school board meetings and/or send letters via e-mail to the school board and administration to make their voice heard.   The District Calendar can be found
here.   Watch the district calendar for updates.  Information about the board, including E-mail addresses, can be found

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