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DV wraps up the fiscal year

By David Hulse
July 9, 2014

WESTFALL, PA — Meeting at a rescheduled session on June 26, the Delaware Valley Board of Education completed its fiscal year with the final approval of its $70,275,107 appropriations budget for the 2014-15 school year.

The new budget incorporates a 2.8% tax increase, with a tax rate set at 106.07 mills.

The board voted 6-2 for the budget, with Jack O’Leary and Jessica Decker opposed. Member Chuck Pike did not attend the meeting.

Superintendent John Bell outlined a busy summer for administrators as the district prepares for construction of a new $30 million Delaware Valley Elementary School in Matamoras and a new career and technology education (CTE) building on the Westfall campus.

Bell said district representatives would seek borough approvals at the planning commission on July 14 and later in the month at the zoning hearing board. Final approval from the borough council is expected in August, he said.

The district will hold a required “land-use” hearing at 6:45 p.m. on July 24, prior to the regular 7 p.m. board meeting. Bell termed the hearing a formality to outline the project and the need.

At 6:45 p.m. on August 14, again prior to the board meeting, the district will hold a required Act 34 meeting, which will involve construction and cost details for the new elementary school.

At the regular meeting that evening, Bell said he would be presenting three sets of drawings for the proposed new CTE facility, with project costs of $6 million, $8 million and $10 million.

He said he hopes to get township approvals and other related business completed in September, in order to come back to the board of education in October to “talk turkey” about a final decision on the CTE project.

If all goes according to plan, Bell said the CTE project would be completed by August of 2017, one year after the completion of the district’s elementary school and high school gymnasium expansion projects.

In other business, the board discussed the proposed withdrawal of Westfall Township from the Eastern Pike Regional Police Commission, which may prompt the school district to seek expanded state police coverage in Westfall.

After attending a recent commission meeting, O’Leary reported no conclusions had been reached. “It was a very hot meeting,” he said.

Member Zachary Pearce characterized the situation as “very fluid.”

O’Leary said commission members queried him about DV funding for the commission, which other DV board members quickly said was not possible.