The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Mifflinburg Region

April 10, 2013

School district still waiting for $900,000 state reimbursement

SUNBURY — MIFFLINBURG — For three years, Pennsylvania has not paid the Mifflinburg School District its PlanCon reimbursements for the high school project, totaling about $900,000, Business Manager Thomas Caruso told the school board Tuesday night.

And the moratorium on PlanCon projects makes it slim that the school district will see the money at all, Caruso said, prompting him to send a letter to state legislators and Gov. Tom Corbett seeking a solution to the problem.

“We’re a small school district,” Caruso said. “That’s big money for us. The state is breaking its end of the deal.”

PlanCon, or Planning and Construction Workbook, is a lengthy set of forms and procedures school districts use to apply for state reimbursement for construction projects. The documents include everything from a project outline to the state’s share of project cost.

All that effort results in reimbursement from Harrisburg. However, Corbett put a one-year moratorium on new PlanCon reimbursements, and about half of Pennsylvania’s 500 school districts scrambled to submit PlanCon documents by an Oct. 1 deadline.

Mifflinburg is among 160 school districts statewide that are not getting their PlanCon reimbursements for projects done long before the moratorium, Caruso said, noting this is the first administration he can recall having a payment problem.

“The state claims they’ll only fund reimbursements when they have the money,” he said. “We still have to make our bond payments.”

The school district has a 2008 bond for the high school project.

Mifflinburg is getting its PlanCon reimbursement of about $120,000 for work done on the Mifflinburg Area Intermediate School around 2010, Caruso said.

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