COAL TOWNSHIP - The Northumberland County Career and Technology Center (NCCTC) Operating Agency approved the school's proposed 2013-2014 budget, with the exception of the school's carpentry program.

The seven-member board approved the $1,686,416 revenue budget at Wednesday evening's meeting The carpentry program is currently frozen due to a lack of enrollment for the upcoming school year. School officials will continue to promote enrollment in the program and it can be restarted next school year if enrollment increases.

Other highlights of NCCTC's 2013-2014 operating budget show a tentative decrease of $140,818 in subsidies the school receives from the state, along with a $9,000 increase in health insurance spending and a $31,237 increase in PSERS pension contributions. NCCTC will receive half the pension money back in reimbursements, and will save $6,200 by reducing the services of their financial consultant.

Based on current enrollment figures, Shamokin Area's share of the costs next year would be $630,347, Mount Carmel Area, $460,954, Line Mountain, $216,350 and $18,836 for Southern Columbia because of one student attending.

Administrative director James F. Monaghan reported the school did very well in the recent National Occupational Competency Testing Institute testing, vocational education's version of standardized testing. In results given by NCCTC program coordinator Traci Beck, 51 out of the 57 students tested rated either in the advanced or competent levels.

Monaghan invited all the board members to attend the school's award ceremony, set for 6 p.m. Wednesday, May 22.

In other business, the law firm of Garrigan and Targonski was reappointed as the solicitor for the school at the same monthly rate of $1,583.33 with no additional charges for services rendered and no benefits.

Wendy Bartholomew, of Dornsife, was hired as a full-time secretary at an hourly wage of $10.50, effective May 9. She is replacing Melissa Muldowney, who resigned to accept a position at another district.

New appointments were also made on the operating agency board with Mount Carmel Area's Michael Rovito being named board secretary and Shamokin Area's Brian Persing being named treasurer, both with terms ending June 30, 2014, and at a annual salary of $2,700. Mount Carmel Area Superintendent Bernie Stellar was named chief school administrator for the agency, with an annual salary of $5,000.

All votes were approved on a 7-0, with members Rovito, Persing, Ron McElwee, Donna James, Dennis Erdman, Charles Shuey and David Scott Bartholomew voting yes, except for the vote to hire Wendy Bartholomew, which was a 6-0 vote with David Scott Bartholomew abstaining.