Saturday, July 12, 2014

Bear Creek Charter school project progresses

February 25. 2014 11:41PM
By Janine Ungvarsky Times Leader Correspondent

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BEAR CREEK TWP. — Just a few approvals remain before the Bear Creek Community Charter School construction project moves to the bid phase, the school’s board of trustees learned Monday.

Approval from the state Department of Environmental Protection is expected within days, and as soon as that is in hand, the school will look to the township planning committee for final plan approval, school CEO Jim Smith said.

Smith said a timbering permit has been granted and as soon as piles of plowed snow can be cleared to give access to the land, timbering can begin.

The board approved Paul J. Mitchell Logging to timber the 22 acres of land at a cost not to exceed $100,800 and be completed no later than March 31. Smith noted this will keep this phase of the project on time and under budget.

The board also unanimously approved a resolution of the Wilkes-Barre Area School Board to reauthorize the charter for the operation of the Bear Creek School. The re-authorization is in effect for five years ending in August 2019.

In other business, the board appointed Kistler Tiffany Benefits as the school’s benefit consultant and broker of record for the period ending June 30, 2015, at no direct cost to the school. Smith said the firm will help the school with a review of health benefits and applicable provisions of the national health insurance law.

Other benefit-related issues discussed included the dual impacts of an increase in the amount the school will pay for the state teachers retirement plan along with a decrease in reimbursement for those contributions.

Smith said the changes will cost the school at least $290,000 next year.

In personnel matters, the board accepted the resignation of part-time cafeteria aide Marlene Stempien and ratified the hiring of Lynn Corcoran for the same position at an hourly rate of $8.50 an hour for no more than 29 hours while school is in session.

The board also approved the addition of Courtney Elizabeth Leighton to the school’s substitute list.

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