Forestville appoints new facilities director

OBSERVER Photo by Braden Carmen Forestville Superintendent Dr. John O’Connor presented the 2024-25 School Budget at a recent public hearing.

FORESTVILLE — The Forestville Central School District has found its new Director of Facilities, and it’s hard to argue with the choice.

Kyle Barthel was appointed as Director of Facilities, effective July 1. He will replace Jim Knoop, who is set to retire.

Forestville Elementary Principal Shauna McMahon said earlier this year, “Our Buildings and Grounds staff is second to none. They are absolutely incredible.” Having to replace Knoop was no easy task, but who better to turn to than Barthel, who already serves the community as Chief of the Forestville Fire Department.

Superintendent Dr. John O’Connor stated while the interviews featured several qualified candidates, Barthel “rose to the top” and was the unanimous selection of the hiring committee. One committee member told O’Connor the interviews were the best the District has ever had.

O’Connor joked that Barthel is “kind of the mayor around here anyway,” referring to his service to the community through the Fire Department. He also is a parent of the District.

“We couldn’t be happier that Kyle is here with us,” O’Connor said.

Forestville Board of Education President Amy Drozdziel also offered congratulations to Barthel, as well as two staff members who recently completed their probationary periods of employment, Floater Monitor Aide Linda Hebner and School Secretary Brenda Schneider.

The Board also appointed Amanda Seneca as the District’s Account Clerk; Laura Lisa as a part-time Food Service Helper; and three uncertified substitute teachers: Isabella Devitt, Julia LeBaron, and Elizabeth Barter. Ron Duliba was approved as a volunteer Varsity Boys Basketball assistant, and Amy Rebmann was approved as a volunteer with the Color Guard.

Music Teacher Zachary Bills resigned from his role, effective Aug. 31.

The District also previously approved its 2024-25 School Budget, which again features no increase to the tax levy. Despite a 3.5% overall increase to the budget from last year, for a total budget of $14,126,058, the District’s tax levy remains the same.

The budget is comprised of 62.5% State Aid, which is up $237,393 from last year. That increase, which amounts to 2.8%, combined with utilization of the District’s reserves allows for no tax impact to District residents.

The good news did not stop there, as the District is also moving forward with a substantial Capital Project proposal for a project totaling $11,875,000. Despite such a substantial project, the District is moving forward without any additional impact to District taxpayers.

The District is set to receive State Building Aid of $9,675,000, which coupled with the allocation of the District’s Capital Reserve Fund of $2,197,595 as of June 30, 2023 allows for no additional tax impact. The Capital Project, focused on various maintenance items throughout the District’s buildings, will be listed as the third proposition on the night of the Budget Vote, along with the budget itself and a vehicle purchase.

The Budget vote is from 1 to 8 p.m. on May 21 in the Forestville High School Lobby.


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