MANDATA - The Line Mountain School Board president changed three of his bill-paying votes over the last 16 months from "yes" to abstentions to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest.

At Tuesday night's school board meeting, President Troy Laudenslager took the action in response to rumors he had illegally benefited from purchases the district made from two companies in which he has a financial interest.

Laudenslager is a silent partner in 3T Products, which sells aviary netting, and 3T Sports Gear, which sells a variety of athletic equipment. They are based in Dalmatia with a warehouse in Pillow.

When concern was raised between March 11 and Tuesday night, Laudenslager asked managers whether they ever sold anything to the district. In 2012, the district purchased two soccer nets worth $99. On Oct. 26, 2013, Aug. 27, 2013, and Nov. 27, 2012, 86 different items were purchased from 3T ranging from medical tape to equipment.

Laudenslager said he didn't realize the bills list he voted to approve included those invoices.

With no objection from the other board members or solicitor Rich Roberts, the president changed his affirmative votes to an abstention in each case.

Superintendent Dave Campbell also addressed a rumor that the Dalmatia and Leck Kill elementary school buildings were purchased for $1 at the last board meeting by a board member.

"The district will not give away those buildings," he said.

The board voted Tuesday night to authorize the request for sealed bids for the sale of the two elementary schools and properties.

The district will advertise for four weeks in The News-Item, The (Harrisburg) Patriot News, The (Sunbury) Daily Item, The (Bloomsburg) Press Enterprise.

Bids will likely be opened by April 21, and the board will have 60 days to accept or reject them.

No board member will submit a bid for those properties, Campbell said.

Dalmatia and Leck Kill elementary schools were closed before the 2013-14 school year as part of an overall district consolidation plan.

In other business

Approximately 50 teachers and supporters crowded the board meeting, but did not comment or address the board.

The teachers union is threatening to strike because progress on a new contract remains stalled. The previous contract expired in 2012.

Teachers picketed the last board meeting and have been working to the rule since Sept. 30, meaning they will not volunteer their time for duties not described in their contract, and will only work during the contracted 7 1/2 hours.

The next negotiation meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, April 22.