District projects ‘fiscally sound’ future

By Sam Wildow - Miami Valley Today

PIQUA — Piqua City Schools’ finances are holding strong as PCS Treasurer and Chief Financial Officer Jeremie Hittle said that the district is headed for the 12th consecutive year in the black — taking in more revenue than the district is spending — as he presented on the district’s five-year financial forecast during the Piqua Board of Education meeting on Thursday evening.

“We have great news. Piqua City Schools is going to finish their 12th straight year in the black,” Hittle said. “What that means is we’ve been bringing in more revenue than we’re spending, and that’s a good thing. We’re being wise with our taxpayer dollars and making sure that we’re getting our bang for our buck.” Hittle said that has allowed the district to enter their final phase of roof repairs to the high school.

Hittle also thanked the community’s continued support for the schools with the passage of the five-year, 3.0-mill permanent improvement levy earlier this month. The levy received the support of approximately 70 percent of Piqua voters.

“The permanent improvement levy will help us maintain the investments that they’ve already put into our facilities, and we couldn’t be more happy with the support we’ve received,” Hittle said.

Due to the state not yet finalizing their budget, the five-year forecast is still a little unclear for the district. Hittle also added that the district’s local tax revenue is down this year, a decrease of approximately $66,000.

In regard to payroll and expenses, Hittle said, “We’re right on target with where we expect to be.”

“Overall, the good news is our forecast is strong through 2021, barring any unforeseen circumstances,” Hittle said. He said his biggest concern at this point is the state budget.

“When we finally get some figures, we can have some reasonable conversations about what does that mean for us,” Hittle said. He said that are some concerns about how the state plans to fund different types of districts, such as urban and rural districts, high-income and low-income districts, and so on.

“The good news is, is that we’re fiscally sound. We’re going to have our 12th year in black, and we couldn’t do it without the support — the tremendous support — we’ve had from the community,” Hittle said.

The Class of 2019 Valedictorian Tessa Arnett and Salutatorian Samantha Martin were then introduced.

Arnett is involved in Marching Band, Symphonic Band, the Academic Challenge, the National Honors Society, the Harry Potter Club, Link Leaders, and Big Brothers Big Sisters. Arnett plans to attend Bowling Green State University to major in Asian Studies with a minor in either Chemistry or International Business.

Martin is involved in Marching Band, Symphonic Band,, Audio Hype Jazz Band, Show Choir Combo, Science Olympiad, the Academic Challenge, Link Leaders, Big Brothers Big Sisters, History Day, Dungeons and Dragons Club, and Art Club. Martin plans to attend the Ohio State University and double major in Biochemistry and Jazz Studies.

In personnel matters, the board approved hiring Courtney Woodward, a Piqua native, as a kindergarten teacher at Springcreek Primary effective at the beginning of the 2019-2020 school year. Assistant Superintendent Tony Lyons noted that there were 218 applicants for that position.

The board ended their meeting by going into executive session to discuss pending or imminent litigation. No action was taken.

Board member Frank Patrizio was absent from Thursday’s meeting.

By Sam Wildow

Miami Valley Today

Reach Sam Wildow at swildow@aimmediamidwest.com. © 2019 Miami Valley Today, all rights reserved.

Reach Sam Wildow at swildow@aimmediamidwest.com. © 2019 Miami Valley Today, all rights reserved.