Operating committee talks budget changes

LEWISTOWN–The Mifflin County Academy for Science and Technology held the first reading of its budget for the 2019-20 school year at the school’s operating committee meeting Thursday night.

The budget shows $3.14 million in total expenses, which is up about 2.5 percent over last year–or about $78,583 total–said Jenaya Mellinger, the school’s business manager.

The budget shows that Mifflin County School District would cover about $1.97 million of the budget and revenues from adult education programs are projected to cover about $1 million.

Mellinger said the biggest change in the budget from last year is wage increases based on contracts, which account for an increase of about $65,000, and health insurance, which is up five percent from last year.

There is also an $18,000 increase in equipment and improvement expenses, which includes electrical upgrades for machining and welding, Mellinger said.

A second reading of the budget will be held at the committee’s April meeting.

Also at the meeting, John Bilich, the school’s assistant director, recognized two Juniata County students, Cole Brown and Carter Smith, who represented the academy at the Pennsylvania Automotive Association Competition held in Hershey on Thursday.

Bilich said the students won various tools, equipment and clothing, adding that they qualified for the competition by taking an online/written exam and qualified as one of the top 10 teams in the state.

Bilich also said the academy was approved for a $1,000 grant through the Specialty Equipment Market Association to provide automotive educational opportunities to elementary students.

Bilich said the grant will cover most of the cost of its Automotive Academy Days activity, including supplies to build batter-powered racecars for students at Indian Valley Elementary School.

In unrelated news, Mike McMonigal, supervisor of adult education, announced the school’s practical nursing program is partnering with Geisinger to do a nursing recruitment event on 2-6 p.m. May 7 at CareerLink.

“We’re working with Geisinger to really highlight LPNs within the system as well as nurses who have started as LPNs and worked up to become RNs as well.”

The board took the following action:

¯The board approved the updated occupational advisory committee list.

¯Approved to advertise and sell accumulated surplus equipment including: an automotive car life, a drive on automotive platform, a tire balancer, a brake lathe, a drum sander, a metal shaper, a four milling machines, a horizontal milling machine, a snow plow, a commercial mixer, an OTC scanner, three point hitch finishing mower, a paint thinner separator and three 55-gallon drum stands.

¯Approved a facility rental agreement with Penn College.

¯Approved X-Pert Communications Inc. to update the current door access system as well as to install a new door access in the Northeast hallway doors at a total cost of $7,005.75.