Wellsville adamant: Garfield won’t close

WELLSVILLE – Members of the Wellsville Board of Education sought to counter what they called rumors about Garfield Elementary School at Monday evening’s board meeting.

Board President Ed Bauer said there has been renewed talk among some village residents that Garfield is to be closed in the near future, even prompting phone calls to his home from concerned constituents.

According to Bauer, such talk has circulated in Wellsville for many years, but he says the stories are as untrue now as they’ve been in the past. He refuted the claims, labeling them as rumors, and emphatically said that Garfield will remain open.

“There’s absolutely no plans – in effect or even talked about – as far as closing Garfield Elementary,” he said. To emphasize the point, Bauer asked building and grounds supervisor Joe Traina for a progress report on a resealing project on the building’s roof. Traina replied that rainy weather had hampered those efforts, but that it would be finished in time for the new school year.

Member Karen Dash reiterated Bauer’s assurances, saying the board prefers the model of neighborhood schools that it employs currently and that Garfield fits well into that model. “It’s going to be there as long as we can have it be there,” she said.

Earlier, the board had unanimously voted to accept health, dental, life and and optional vision coverage premiums with its new carrier, the Portage Area School Consortium. Those rates include health insurance premiums of $1,593 per month for a family and $637 per month for singles, with dental coverage set at $78 per month for a family and $37 monthly for singles.

District Treasurer Eva Elliott echoed Bereschik’s statement that joining PASC, in lieu of the previous insurance plan through Anthem, would result in “considerable savings” for the district. Still, the recent sign-up had managed to skew fiscal numbers for June.