AYERSVILLE — Tax revenues, permanent appropriations and the start of the school year were topics of discussion during the Ayersville Local Board of Education meeting Monday evening.

CFO/treasurer Abby Sharp updated the board on both real estate and casino revenues, telling the members that she wished she had better news.

“We received the August payment of our tax revenues,” began Sharp, “and we knew it was going to be less than expected, because of receiving our refund and Mercy getting that refund for three years. It ended up being $544,000 less than last August.

“When I looked at the commercial and industrial tax collected, it was negative $162,000, which is the biggest reason why the revenue is so much less,” added Sharp. “We also received our casino tax, which came in $10,000 less than last August. COVID shut down the casinos for quite a while.”

Sharp went on to explain that permanent appropriations for 2020-21 totaling $13,880,162.20 were very close to the temporary appropriations approved in June.

The board approved the permanent appropriations.

Superintendent Don Diglia discussed the start of the 2020-21 school year, sharing he’s been very pleased.

“We had an outstanding start to the school year, all of the planning has paid off,” said Diglia. “I want to thank all of our staff for all of the planning and implementation of our safety measures. The students have also been fantastic. They have followed all of the COVID-19 protocols we have put into place.

“The teachers have done an outstanding job of going above and beyond in not only creating a positive learning environment, but also making our school safe place to come and learn,” added Diglia. “We need to continue to work together on this effort to maintain our traditional in-person instruction.”

Diglia also thanked the Defiance County Health Department for its part in the plan.

“I would like to thank Jamie Gerken, Defiance County health commissioner, for all her assistance in planning for our in-person opening,” Diglia said. “Her assistance has definitely contributed to our successful opening.”

In addition, Diglia shared the district is taking part in the Seamless Summer Food Program, in which all students in the district can receive free breakfast and lunch. The federal funding is coming from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and is available until Dec. 31, or until funds for program run out.

At the August meeting of the board, Cheryl Ryan, director of board and management services for the Ohio School Boards Association (OSBA), was in attendance to discuss how the OSBA helps school districts in Ohio conduct community surveys.

On Monday, Diglia discussed that the district would like to get input from the community on a pair of renewal tax levies it plans to bring to voters. The first would be in May of 2021 concerning the renewal for the pool, and the second would be the renewal for the income tax it plans to bring to voters in November of 2021.

Char Ondrus, board president, explained the board is expected to hire OSBA in October to conduct the survey.

“At the next meeting I would like for us to approve a contract with the OSBA for that survey,” said Ondrus. “We would like to let the community give their thoughts on those tax renewals.”

The estimated cost for the survey is $2,700.

In other business, the board:

• approved Kathy Lamming and Cathy Hohenberger as classified substitutes for 2020-21.

• accepted the resignation of Jeff Martin as freshman boys basketball coach for 2020-21.

• approved the following members of the Local Professional Development Committee at a pay rate of $25 per hour: Dan Mix, Kelly Wagner, Lori Tyler, Beth Hench and Don Diglia.

• approved several policy updates due to changes in state and federal guidelines.

• voted for Griffin Insurance as the agent for the optional student accident insurance for 2020-21.

• okayed the recognition of the gymnastics program from November 2020-March 2021 to allow students to compete in gymnastic meets as members of the district. All costs, travel and liability will be the individual’s responsibility.

• approved the following school-related organizations: Ayersville Football Parents Association and Ayersville Music Boosters.

• voted for the following revenue adjustments: Special trust, increase of $109; public school support, decrease of $41,695; student managed activities, increase of $25,773.50; and district managed activities, increase of $34,749.25.

• approved the tuition rates set by the Ohio Department of Education as follows: in-state rate of $7,802.02; and the out-of-state rate of $12,574.25.

• accepted the following donations: $100 to FFA; $100 to the Student Memorial Scholarship; $100 to the Ron Jorkos Scholarship; $100 to the Gerken Schackow Scholarship; $100 to the Diller Scholarship; and $100 to the Willitzer Scholarship from Chris Leuthold in honor of what would have been his father, Russell’s 100th birthday; $250 from Citizens National Bank to help cover pay to participate fees; $200 from Jeff Brown to the Gerken Schackow Scholarship; $200 from Bruce and Maria Olson to the Gerken Schackow Scholarship; $4,000 from the United Way of Defiance County to the elementary principal’s fund; and $194.80 from the class of 2019 to the Student Memorial Scholarship.

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