Mt. Vernon Register-News

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October 11, 2012

Clean audit to be presented to board

MT. VERNON — — From collective bargaining agreements to annexation requests to an approval of this year’s audit, Mt. Vernon Township High School board members are slated for a busy regularly scheduled board meeting Monday night.

Superintendent Mike Smith said the district has received a “clean” audit from Krehbiel and Associates in Mt. Vernon that will be  presented to the board for their approval.

“We actually came in a little bit better than what we had projected,” Smith said of the district’s $13 million budget. He added there were no substantial findings and that the full report will be outlined Monday.

Also, board members will receive two new collective bargaining agreements pending their approval. The tentative agreements were reached within the last week with the Mt. Vernon High Education Association, representing teachers, and the union for the Mt. Vernon High School Aides and Clerical Staff.

Teachers ratified their agreement Oct. 3; clerical and aide workers were scheduled to meet Wednesday night to vote on their pending deal.

Smith said the contracts do include salary increases, the major stumbling block in negotiations for both contracts, but declined to discuss details until all sides have approved the pending contracts. The district’s recently approved budget for fiscal year 2013 earmarks money for salary increases.

Smith will also seek board authorization to enter talks with Mt. Vernon city officials on annexing the property site of the new high school and to seek proper zoning for the area.

The district is building the new school on 82 acres at the southwest corner of the Wells Bypass and Ambassador Lane intersection. The location is just west of Interstate 57 and just south of Veterans Memorial Drive.

Smith said he is unaware of any obstacles that might arise with either of the two requests.

With $2.4 million committed for roadway and pipeline extensions to the site, City Manager Ron Neibert also said there are no foreseeable issues.

“Clearly we knew we were going to have to make infrastructure improvements to the area,” Neibert said. “Once they finalize (their building plans), we will get with them on scheduling so we can get that (construction work) done in a timely manner.”

Neibert said the land is already contiguous with the city limits with no other property in between that would require additional annexation. Land must be contiguous to a municipality in order for it to be annexed.

Neibert also said the school property would be the only property affected by any change in zoning.

“We’re not rezoning any property other than theirs,” he said.

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