Time marches on in
the deliberations between the Porter County Council and Porter Regional
Hospital over the ten-year tax abatement but Duneland School Board
Vice-President Kristin Kroeger took a moment during Monday’s board meeting
to urge both sides to come to terms as soon as possible.
Kroeger said that
in order to budget for the Duneland Schools’ future, it is important to have
an accurate projection of how much tax revenue the school will receive. The
hospital is located in the school district at the northwest corner of Ind.
49 and U.S. 6 in Liberty Twp.
The DSC’s capital
projects budget, transportation budgets, debt service and bus replacement
funds are all supported by local property tax.
“It’s important to
get it resolved quickly for us as a school corporation,” she said.
The County Council
has taken up the issue several times this year, board president Ralph Ayres
said, questioning what year the abatement was supposed to begin and what
parts of the hospital’s property is to fall under it. The bigger question
seems to be what the assessed value of the hospital is to be, he said.
Porter has appealed
both its 2012 and 2013 assessed values to the Indiana Board of Tax Review
and has argued its value should be about $40 million based on the models
used in the Indiana Assessment Manual. On the other hand, the Porter County
Assessor and the Property Tax Assessment Board of Appeals have valued the
hospital property at $244.5 million.
attorney Scott McClure at the Council meeting two weeks ago said Assessor
Jon Snyder looks to further negotiate the value with a new tax attorney
representing the hospital.
Kroeger’s comments saying he “hopes there is a quick resolution” and that
the two sides “come to a solution sooner rather than later.”
In other matters,
the board approved accepting $27,876 in donations made from December to May.
That includes a contribution of $14,000 made by the Bailly Elementary PTO
last month that will go to technology projects for each classroom.
donation of $5,000 was accepted this past week for sound and audio equipment
upgrades inside the CHS auditorium.
Next, a resolution
was adopted by the board that would give Duneland Superintendent of Schools
Dave Pruis the authority to sign contracts from the Department of Education
when necessary to fund placement of students in community supported services
and residential facilities. Pruis said the measure will enhance “efficiency
In his comments
portion of the meeting, Pruis gave kudos to the CMS teams who placed at the
Lake-Porter Academic Conference on April 16. The 6th and 8th grade teams
placed first while 7th placed second. CMS was the overall champion, he said.
Other congrats went
out to WDSO on its 24th annual radio-thon last week.
The CHS Super
Mileage Challenge Club placed first in its stock category at the annual
competition held at Lucas Oil Raceway Park in Indianapolis.
commended the staff of the CHS Sandscript on being named a 1st place
publication by the American Scholastic Press Association and one of the top
35 high school news publications in the nation.
Duneland is in the middle of its Teacher Appreciation Week, May 5-9.
Wednesday is a special day honoring school nurses.
“Everyone has a
favorite teacher. We all are who we are because of them. We appreciate all
that they do,” he said.
Superintendent of Instruction Jim Goetz remarked on how well attendance has
held up at Duneland Schools this past year which was reflected in the Annual
at the elementary schools was 98 percent while at intermediate schools
attendance was 96 percent, at the middle school 95.9 percent and at the high
school 94.9 percent.
I’d like to put a challenge out to our parents to get even better than that
--100 percent. The kids can’t learn unless they’re in school,” Goetz said.
is that 84 percent of students completing high school in Duneland go off to
college, which is well above the state average, he said.
Assistant Superintendent of Human Relations and Operations Monte Moffett
announced a few additional teacher retirements this school year. Those
include 3rd Grade Brummitt teacher M. Jane Shuger who started teaching at
Duneland in 1972 as one of the original teachers when Brummitt first opened
its doors, CHS English teacher Pat Johnson who started teaching at Duneland
in 1974 and served as English department chair for the past 14 years, and
CMS Social Studies teacher Dan Garwood who started teaching at Duneland in
combining the years of all retiring teachers, this year will see the
departure of 492 years of teaching experience.
include technology technician Doug Wells, bus driver Joyce Mottinger, and
custodians Pat Jones and Duane Szymanski.
Colleen Bowen will be head custodian at Brummit Elementary.
Appointed to an
assistant coaching position at CHS is Mark Peterson for Boys’ Track.
Volunteer coaching positions include Zack Rochowiak for JV Baseball and Adam
Martin who will be an assistant coach for track.
moving from probation to permanent include Linda Strange, Daniell Cromwell
and Janette Pinnell, as well as Kyle Jimenez in the maintenance department.
Assistant CMS Cross Country Coach Cara Ellerthorpe, High Ability Aide Sara
Binder, and Yost 3rd grade teacher Erin Bozetarnik.
Art Center Open
Ayres plugged the
opening reception for the Chesterton High School Art Exhibit at the
Chesterton Art Center, 115 S. 4th St. which will be held Tuesday night.
The event showcases
the many “great works” by the students, he said, and runs from 6 to 7:30