B-C-S schools cut administrator

In an effort to stay fiscally conservative, Benton-Carroll-Salem School District is cutting the Director of Administrative Services position, previously held by Keith Thorbahn who resigned at the end of the 2018-2019 school year.

“I wish to thank Mr. Thorbahn for his strong leadership, and 25 years of dedicated service to the students of Benton-Carroll-Salem Schools as a teacher, building principal, and district leader, and wish him the best of success for the future,” said Superintendent Guy Parmigian.

The District will annually save over $100,000 in salary and benefits by not filling Mr. Thorbahn’s position. The duties of the position will be split among other district administrators, including Parmigian, who will also serve as Maintenance Supervisor.

“We are committed to tightening our belts, being more efficient, and stretching each tax dollar to go as far as it can in providing a great education for our students,” said Parmigian.

Over the past 7 years, the district has made millions in staffing cuts. Going into the 2019-2020 school year, there are no base pay increases for B-C-S staff. The district has reduced payment of retirement benefits to administrators, moved to less expensive insurance plans, implemented lower salary schedules and reduced curriculum purchases.

About $2 million in staffing cuts were made in 2012, which resulted in the elimination of 40 staff positions across the district. The school district faces an annual loss of  $6 million in revenue out of a current budget of approximately $20 million.

According to Parmigian, the revenue losses are happening for two reasons. There is the phase out of public utility tangible personal property reimbursement payments from the state at the rate of approximately $278,000 per year. This phase out continues each year through 2030, with a total loss of $4.5 Million when the phase out is complete.

Additionally, the revenue loss stems from the 2018 de-valuation of the Davis-Besse Nuclear Power Station by its owner, First Energy, through the Ohio Department of Taxation. The de-valuation results in an annual loss of $4.6 million beginning in 2018.

To make up about half of the revenue loss, the district is on the August 6 ballot with a 3.9 Mill Operating Levy. If passed, the property tax would cost an additional $136 per $100,000 of value for each parcel of property annually. This property tax issue would generate approximately $1.5 million per year for the district to be used for operating expenses.

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