Delphos City Schools Treasurer Brad Rostorfer, right, gives newly-appointed board member Perry Wiltsie the oath of office Monday evening prior to the board meeting. (DHI Media/Nancy Spencer)
Delphos City Schools Treasurer Brad Rostorfer, right, gives newly-appointed board member Perry Wiltsie the oath of office Monday evening prior to the board meeting. (DHI Media/Nancy Spencer)

DELPHOS — Lakeview Farms received the nod for a 90%, 10-year tax abatement for a proposed $24-35 million expansion at the Delphos plant on Gressel Drive from the Delphos City Schools Board of Education Monday evening.

The expansion will retain more than 320 jobs and add at least 15 more.

Allen Economic Development Group Business Development Director Cindy Leis was on hand to explain the project and process.

“This is an exciting project for Delphos,” she began. “There was at least one more Lakeview Farms location that could have received the expansion project but the local plant won that bid.”

The expansion also includes the relocation of Gressel Drive 320 feet to the east, a $2.2 million project.

“We went out and applied for and received a $200,000 grant for the design to move the roadway and then also received $1.3 million in grants for the actual project. This did leave a gap that Lakeview Farms said they would pay if they received the tax abatement.”

The district also agreed to waive the 45-day wait period for the abatement. The City of Delphos and Allen County must also approve the tax abatement.

Perry Wiltsie has returned as a member of the school board. Wiltsie was approved to fill the vacancy on the board left by the resignation of Tony Wiechart. Wiltsie had previously served on the board but it has been nine years since his service. Wiltsie said he was glad to come back.

“I have a lot to catch up on but I’m ready to help the district in any way I can and help implement the strategic plan the administration is working on,” Wiltsie said.

Wiechart was also board vice president. Becca Suever was tapped to fill that position.

The board approved the necessity of the .6-mills library operating expenses renewal levy to be placed on the Nov. 8 ballot.

The board also approved a $30,833 insurance premium to Stolly Insurance for the district’s property, fleet and liability insurance. The district is in year two of a three-year plan with Stolly through the Insurer Ohio School Plan.

Personnel issues were also addressed. Certified resignation/retirement were approved for High School Guidance Counselor Kendra Heringhaus and Jennifer McElroy, K-8 computer teacher, effective at the end of this school year.

Certified employment one-year contracts were offered to Kristin Martin, Speech Pathology; and Susan Clark, grades K-8 computer teacher.

OVERSET FOLLOWS:Certified employment one-year (NAPAS) contracts were also approved for tutors Todd Schulte, Aaron Elwer and Adam Lee.

Three-year certified employment (NAPAS) contracts were passed for Lynette Haehn and Stephanie Hanneman, guidance counselors at St. John’s.

A certified status change was approved for middle school teacher Matthew Spencer from MA to MA+15/Step 9.

Certified supplemental and extended days employment was approved for Megan Ryan, assistant marching band director; and Zach Srnis, girls golf coach.

Non certified staff resignations approved included Rebecca Berelsman, EMIS coordinator, resignation for retirement purposes and the end of the 2022-23 school year.

Non certified employment one-year contract renewal 2022-23 was granted for Michael Knott as a bus driver.

Assistant Treasurer Carol Schuerman also received a non certified employment five-year contract renewal.

Non certified supplemental and extended days employment was approved for Jamie Lewis, junior varsity girls basketball coach.

A correction to non certified supplemental contracts included Matt Wiechart to junior high wrestling coach; and Tom Merschman to volunteer wrestling coach.

Band Director Cameron Reed addressed the board and requested a color guard director/advisor position be added to the district’s payroll. Reed noted the color guard numbers have more than doubled to six and he does not have the time to effectively work with the color guard and the marching band. A student had been performing the necessary tasks with the color guard but that students graduated in May. He added that the Jefferson Band Boosters were unable to fund the position at this time.

Donations were approved and included: $1,000 from John Brenneman to the Brenneman Scholarship; $10,000 from Eleanor Dunlap to the Leslie Dienstberger Scholarship; $20,000 from Jefferson Athletic Boosters to Athletic Expenses; and $35,000 from Jefferson Athletic Boosters to the Team Accounts.

Board member Jamey Wisher asked the administration if it would be possible to have a reduced or free admittance to sporting events for students. He noted that Lincolnview had instituted the policy in the past year and saw a tremendous increase in student attendance at events and increased school pride and spirit.