MANDATA - An engineering firm specializing in forensic mechanical engineering services is the latest company to be retained by the Line Mountain Board of Directors in the saga of a fuel oil leak at the former Dalmatia Elementary building.

The board voted 8-0 to retain McLauchlan and Associates Inc., of Annapolis, Md., at a rate of $220 per hour.

Director David Scott Bartholomew was absent from the meeting.

"We're not expecting it to take long," said board president Troy Laudenslager, who declined to estimate the number of hours the firm would be engaged.

The cost to engage the engineering firm will not be covered by the district's insurance provider, Liberty Mutual, said Laudenslager.

A broken pressure gauge leaked 1,250 gallons of fuel oil from the Dalmatia building into the Lower Mahanoy Township Municipal Authority wastewater treatment plant Feb. 10.

On May 13, the property was sold to Jeremy Strohecker, of Klingerstown, but the district is still on the hook for a $143,454 bill from Lower Mahanoy Township Municipal Authority for the cleanup.

Rich Roberts, board solicitor, said the firm would be testing the gauge and system as a whole to see how exactly the leak occurred.

"We want to know what happened before we know what our response is going to be," said Roberts, adding that the district may pursue a claim against the its insurance based on the results.

Roberts said representatives from the manufacturer of the failed gauge, Campbell Manufacturing; the retailer that sold the gauge, Jones Ace Hardware, and the unspecified oil delivery company that had made a delivery shortly before the break, will be invited to attend the investigation.

The date of the investigation has not yet been set.

In other business

Two reading teachers were hired at Line Mountain Middle School effective Aug. 25: Christine Shearn for sixth-grade at a salary of $38,806 and Jenna Kerstetter for fifth-grade as a salary of $32,838. The board also accepted the resignation of fifth-grade reading teacher Catherine Creveling, effective July 15.

Directors approved an agreement with Americus Hose Company ambulance unit to provide services at sporting events for $50 per event plus an hourly rate of $60 for basic life support.

Amy Young was approved as the head teacher of Line Mountain Elementary School for the 2013-14 school year at a compensation rate of $1,000 per the collective bargaining agreement.

Jackie Kelley's maternity leave, beginning on or around Sept. 12 and ending Dec. 2, was approved.

Maria Getchey, elementary pre-k to fourth grades; Roy Casey, elementary and early childhood, and Kelly Heim, English, were approved as day-to-day substitute teachers for their respective certifications.

The board approved Randy Schaffner, Bill Maurer, Darrell Byerly, Marissa Campbell and Courtney Kieffer as statisticians/scorekeepers; Jon Raker, Mike Reed, Cindy Fessler and Doug Fessler as game managers; Hickory Corners Fire Company as fire police, and Kevin Mace as the football announcer for the 2014-15 school year.

Amy Zartman was approved for 50 summer hours to analyze test data and prepare data packets for the 2013-14 school year at a contracted rate of $22 per hour.

Directors approved revisions in the Code of Student Conduct, effective to all students in the district. The changes include adding clauses for false reports of threats, which encompasses a range from erroneous reports of bullying to calling 911; receiving stolen merchandise, which was added based on events from the past school year, and inciting confrontation, which Superintendent David M. Campbell said did not have to result in a fight but would help curb antagonizing behavior.