By Cecilia Fox
For the Troy Daily News
TIPP CITY — The Tipp City school board, Monroe Township Trustees and city of Tipp City staff met Monday night for the quarterly Tri-Agency meeting. Member of the boards discussed storm and construction updates, possible levies and teacher compensation.
School district administrators and staff representatives have been working as a committee to address the issue of competitive teacher compensation. According to the committee, the district is losing teachers who are leaving the district for other opportunities because Tipp City schools do not offer competitive salaries.
“Teacher compensation has really become a hot topic in the last few months,” Superintendent Dr. John Kronour said. “We’ve really started to see a substantial group of employees leaving.”
The staff has experienced several years of wage freezes and a halt to the traditional step system that recognizes teaching experience and education. The board recently approved a two percent base salary increase, though the district’s funds will not allow for a full reinstatement of the step program.
Teachers leaving Tipp City for better-paying jobs in other districts is a very recent phenomenon, Kronour said. The district is considering different options to solve the problem, whether through reductions in spending, another levy, or other ways of increasing revenue.
Tipp City’s salaries might not be drastically lower than other district’s at the moment, board president Scott Dixon said, but district’s financial forecast shows that the gap in pay will only widen if the district cannot generate more revenue.
Storm recovery efforts are still underway, Interim City Manager Brad Vath said. Electric substations 1 and 1A, which both suffered damage during the storm and flooding, are now fully operational.
The city’s new bucket truck, which replaces the city’s 2010 Ford bucket truck that was completely submerged during the May 21 storm, has been delivered. The new vehicle cost $135,105 and has several more features than the old model, including four wheel drive. The city will be reimbursed $89,575 for the original purchase price of the 2010 truck by the city’s insurance provider. Two other city trucks will also be replaced, Vath said, and other vehicles are undergoing repairs.
The major upcoming road project for both the city and township is the County Road 25A and Kessler Cowlesville resurfacing project that will begin this summer. The $799,112 project involves the repaving of CR 25A from Donn Davis Way to Commerce Park, and Kessler Cowlesville from CR 25A to the city’s western corporate limit.
Construction is underway on the right turn lane from South CR 25A onto Donn Davis Way. This addition is being made to alleviate issues with traffic during high school drop off and pick up times. This project should be completed in the next two weeks, Vath said.
Township Trustee Ron Thuma discussed a potential levy to build new senior center. A group from the senior center approached the township about possibly placing a levy on the ballot in November that would raise enough money to build a new center.
According to Thuma, the group wants to keep the senior center in Tipp City, but their options are limited by the lack of available properties.
Members of the agencies attending the meeting expressed reservations about placing a levy on the ballot in November, when there is currently no location yet for a future senior center. They agreed that, while a new senior center would be a great addition to the community, there are many unknown variables that would make voting for a levy difficult.
“There’s a lot of ambiguous questions in this situation,” Thuma said.