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Niagara Wheatfield bottled water expenditure for staff faulted by new board member

SANBORN – A new member of the Niagara Wheatfield School Board wants to know why the district is paying for bottled water for some of its office staff.

Amy B. Deull questioned the expenditure when the board approved its latest monthly financial audit during Thursday’s meeting.

Deull said the records showed that the district is paying for large bottles of water to be delivered to some of its offices, including central administration, the adult learning center and the bus garage. No total cost was discussed, but Deull said the billing showed that the district is paying $200 a month to Mountain Glacier for the administration building alone.

Other than at the Tuscarora Indian School ,where only well water is available, Deull said, bottled water should not be provided by the district. “They don’t need to get bottled water if there are water fountains,” she said.

School Superintendent Lynn M. Fusco had no information on the expenditure but said she would update the board once she has looked into the matter.

Before being elected this year, Deull was a frequent critic of district spending at meetings and during budget talks when the board was dealing with a fiscal crisis that threatened to impose a large property tax increase.

In another matter, the district will soon see one top administrator leave and another arrive.

School Board members said goodbye to Athletic Director Mark V. DiFilippo after 10 years of service to the district. DiFilippo said he has accepted a similar position with Williamsville East High School. He will leave Oct. 11.

Fusco said the board will begin looking for a successor to DiFilippo right away.

Allison S. Brady, who had been business administrator at the Barker Central School District, was hired as school business executive, effective Sept. 30.

Brady succeeds Kerin M. Dumphrey, who retired last year, as well as Richard A. Hitzges, from the Orleans/Niagara Board of Cooperative Educational Services. Hitzges was hired as a part-time budget director about two years ago to assist with the financial problems facing the district.