Agenda and Notes February 14, 2019

 All attachments in pdf

February 14, 2019 Board Finance and Audit Committee Meeting
Meeting Room C, Panorama Village Building - 11:45 a.m. 
240 Villa Crest Drive
State College, PA 16801

I.    Call to Order

II.   Centre Region Municipal Government and SCASD Proposed Solar Project (attachment I) (attachment II)(Presentation)

III.  Local Economic Revitalization Tax Assistance (LERTA)

IV.   School Bus Grant (attachment IV)

V.    Budget Development 2019-2020 (attachment V)

VI.   Capital Financing 

VII.  Future Meeting Agenda Items
          Budget Development 2019-2020
          403(b) Plan Document

VIII.  Public Comment

IX.    Adjournment

Board Finance and Audit Committee Meeting Notes                       Accepted Notes
Panorama Village Administrative Center
240 Villa Crest Drive
State College, PA   16801


Present​:  Amy Bader, Lori Bedell, Amber Concepcion, Scott Fozard, Jim Leous, Gretchen Brandt
Absent:​  Laurel Zydney
Others​:  Randy Brown, Bob O’Donnell, Nancy Reese, Donna Watson

A copy of all materials distributed to the committee members for discussion are included with the official minutes, unless otherwise indicated.


I.   Call to Order
Mr. Fozard called the Finance & Audit Committee meeting to order at 11:49 a.m. The meeting was turned over to Mr. Brown.


II.  Centre Region Municipal Government (COG) and  SCASD Proposed Solar Project
Ms. Brandt and  Mr. Brown attended a meeting on February 7 with Centre Region of Governments (COG), State College Borough Water Authority, Centre County Refuse and Recycling Authority, State College Borough, Ferguson Township, Patton Township, College Township, Halfmoon Township, and Harris Township to discuss the concept of a joint purchase of solar energy in order to lower operational costs, reduce carbon footprint of our region, and to set an example for the community. Mr. Brown reviewed a presentation from PRX Energy on the topic of solar energy.  Recently, Penn State University entered into a long-term contract with PRX Energy with the goals of reducing costs, enhance environmental sustainability, and minimize price fluctuations. Mr. Brown stated that we are not obligated to join into a partnership and that it is only in the beginning phase. A more detailed look and information is needed before the decision would be made and Mr. Brown will go back to COG and ask questions that the committee raised in the meeting today and will see if a representative(s) from COG can present the information at a future board meeting, possibly in March.


III. Local Economic Revitalization Tax Assistance (LERTA)
Mr. Brown discussed LERTA and explained the program.  LERTA stands for Local Economic Revitalization Tax Assistance Act with a tax incentive over a 10 year period.  The program targets deteriorating buildings by giving businesses an incentive to improve or repair existing buildings.  The attachment presented gave the full details of the program.


IV.  School Bus Grant
Mr. Brown explained the Onroad Rebate Program offered by the Department of Community and Economic Development and is supported by the Department of Environmental Protection.  The program would remove diesel engines older than ten years and would allow for a rebate on new busses with diesel engines. The program may allow the District to receive a rebate of  up to $40,000 per bus purchase, with the District eligible for a total of ten rebates. Criteria of the program is that you cannot trade or sell the old bus and the engine would need to be destroyed.   Currently, the district general fund operating budget includes replacement of two or three school busses each year. Due to changes necessary in the transportation system for the start and end times of the student day this year, the District purchased five additional buses to ensure our fleet had optimal bus capacity.  These purchases resulted in a decrease in the average age of our fleet from twelve to ten years. If the district applies and receives the ten rebates and also completes normal replacement in the coming years, the average age of our fleet drops to seven years. This would speed up our replacement process, but if granted, would result in $400,000 in rebates.  More research on the cost of destroying the engine and how it would change the replacement of busses down the road is being looked at. When all information has been gathered, it will be presented to the full board as a proposal. Also noted, the rebates are approved before the purchase of the bus.


V.  Budget Development 2019-20
Mr. Brown and Ms. Watson pointed out the footnote and impact of a 0% tax increase in 2019-20 resulting in a reduction of $2.3 MM, the second line is showing the cumulative and the two lines are showing the projected numbers through 2028.   It was noted that the millage increases were left in the formula and the exercise was taking the Act 1 index to zero for just this year. Looking at the loss of $2.3 MM over the next nine years would be a cumulative loss of $24.4 MM between 2020-28.  Discussion followed on how this loss of revenue would impact our students in the classroom through 2028. It was noted that the next budget work session is on March 20 at 7:00 P.M. in Meeting Room A at Panorama Village Administrative Center.


VI. Capital Financing
It was noted that the topic of busses will be removed from the next board agenda until all the information is received.


VII. Future Meeting Agenda Items

  • Budget Development 2019-20
  • 403(b) Plan Document

VIII. Public Comment
There was no public comment given.


IX.  Adjournment
Mr. Fozard adjourned the Finance and Audit Committee meeting at 1:16 p.m.


The next scheduled Finance & Audit Committee meeting is March 14, 2019 at 11:45 a.m. in Conference Room A, Panorama Village Administrative Center.


Submitted by,

Nancy Reese