New board will tackle levy issue

SOUTHINGTON – Southington schools officials will be discussing the recent defeat of a 4.9-mill operating levy, but will likely wait until the new board takes office in January before taking any action.

Southington Board of Education President Mike Davis, who chose not to seek re-election to the board, said at Monday’s meeting that while the board will discuss the situation, he wants them to wait for the new board – which includes re-elected members Betsy Dunn and Steve Gilanyi and Al Haberstroh, who had served on the board previously – before making a decision on what way to proceed.

”We are not really sure what we are going to do. It will need to be discussed as a board. We have a new member starting in January,” Davis said.

The levy failed with 54.4 percent of voters voting against the tax versus 45.59 percent for the increase.

Davis said the board is concerned with the district operating in a deficit, which is expected to grow with concern the state will eventually have to come in.

The district is operating with a $300,000 deficit.

Board members expressed disappointment with the levy’s defeat but thanked the levy committee for their efforts.

In recent years, the district has had to cut staff and programs and institute pay-to-participate for sports and extracurricular activities.

In other business, the board:

Announced the district will plant a tree at the memorial area in memory of student Garrett Proverbs, 13, who died recently. Donations were received for costs;

Approved the substitute rate of pay for cooks, cafeteria workers and playground aides at $7.25 per hour, the new state minimum wage effective Jan. 1;

Rescinded the assistant girls basketball coach contract due to an inefficient number of eligible students participating.