Tuesday, January 12th, 2021

Free meals to continue

By Leslie Gartrell
ST. HENRY - School board members learned at Monday's meeting that students will continue to receive free meals through the end of the school year.
The Seamless Summer Option was extended beyond its Dec. 31 deadline, superintendent Julie Garke said after the meeting.
The federal meal program provides meals in low-income areas during traditional summer vacation periods.
The program was first extended in September to offer free breakfasts and lunches for all students. The extension is possible through U.S. Department of Agriculture funding. Garke noted local tax money is not being used.
In a separate matter, Garke thanked board members as part of school board appreciation month.
"The St. Henry Local School children benefit every day from the dedication and commitment to public education of our school board members," Garke wrote in a statement.
In other business, board members approved a resolution accepting the amounts and rates as determined by the budget commission and authorizing the necessary tax levies and certifying them to the county auditor.
District treasurer Jennifer Bruns said the district's valuation had increased by $9.5 million in the 2020 triennial update - a historically large increase. The district's emergency levy, which is a fixed sum levy, was reduced by 0.3 mills. As appraisal values increase, the millage on the levy decreases to keep the fixed sum and the taxpayer's payment the same. The 6.8-mill, five-year levy was renewed in 2019 and collects $1.1 million per year. It costs the owner of a $100,000 home $214 a year.
In addition, board members approved a resolution to expand employment of substitute teachers consistent with Ohio House Bill 409. The bill authorizes districts to hire substitute teachers who do not have a post-secondary degree, which is otherwise required. Substitutes can be hired without a bachelor's degree so long as they satisfy other requirements, such as a criminal background check, and have evidence of a non-renewable temporary substitute teaching license issued by the Ohio Department of Education.
The resolution is temporary, running through June 30. Garke said the district has an agreement with the Mercer County Educational Service Center for substitutes.
Board members also elected Andy Fullenkamp as president and Paul Moorman as vice president.
Additional online story on this date
2nd attempt for school buildings
CELINA - School board members are preparing to try again to get a building project approved at the May 4 primary election, asserting the district must address its outdated facilities before costs inevitably escalate in the future. [More]
Subscriber and paid stories on this date
ST. MARYS - Mayor Patrick McGowan, in his annual report, outlined the past year's major accomplishments and provided a list of goals for 2021.
A 69
MINSTER - A permanent improvement levy is up for renewal this year, and Minster board of education members will discuss at an upcoming work session whether to renew or replace the levy.
MARIA STEIN - Treasurer Heather Cramer told Marion Local school board members on Monday night that the value of property within the district has increased 5.5% to $132,074,680.
Gatherings at holidays cited
WAPAKONETA - Auglaize County Health Department officials are warning of a post-holiday rise in the number of COVID-19 cases as 54 new cases reported over the weekend raised the county's cumulative number of confirmed cases to 3,034.
CELINA - City council members on Monday night gave second reading to legislation that would authorize using city revolving loan funds to finance the demolition of a blighted private building, clearing the way for the expansion of a retirement village.
COLDWATER - A Coldwater man arrested on Friday faces 10 felony charges for reported sexual conduct with a preteen girl.
Richard W. Holtzapple, 60,
NEW BREMEN - Don Kuck who had served as village council president since 2003 declined the nomination last night and recommended Jacob Larger to lead the council.
ST. HENRY - Village council members met briefly on Monday night and discussed the events of 2020 and plans for 2021.
Mayor Steve Koesters first rem
WAPAKONETA - Emily Kramer has been hired as a special programs technician at the Auglaize County Soil and Water Conservation District.
According to
COLDWATER - Mayor Doug Bertke thanked residents who had served on village boards and committees at the first council meeting of the year on Monday.
Jon Winner was recognized for eight years of service on the park board and Travis Gerlach for 13 years of service with the Coldwater Fire Department.