The South-Western Board of Education on Monday, Aug. 10 unanimously approved a five-year contract extension for Superintendent Bill Wise that will begin Aug. 1, 2016.

The South-Western Board of Education on Monday, Aug. 10 unanimously approved a five-year contract extension for Superintendent Bill Wise that will begin Aug. 1, 2016.

Wise's current five-year contract will expire July 31, 2016.

The new contract is the same as the current contract except for three changes:

* The $700 monthly car allowance the board currently provides Wise for business use of his personal automobile will be become part of his salary.

Wise's current salary is $178,334. When the new contract goes into effect, his salary will rise to $186,734 -- $178,334 plus the $8,400 annual car allowance.

* The number of paid vacation days Wise receives each year will increase from 25 to 30 days.

* The board's annual contribution to a board-approved tax-sheltered annuity of Wise's choice will move from a fixed amount of $5,000 to 3 percent of the superintendent's annual salary -- or $5,602 in 2016-17.

School board President Randy Reisling said the contract extension reflects, "the confidence we have in (the superintendent's) leadership and his ability to manage the school district through very trying economic times."

Wise led the district through successful passage of a levy in 2009 and during that time "made a contract with the community" that the district would not go back to the ballot until 2013 at the earliest, he said.

The district has not yet returned to the ballot and has no plans for a levy in the immediate future, Reisling said.

The superintendent also "worked tirelessly" with Mark Waller, the district's property services coordinator, to oversee South-Western's project to build 13 new elementary school buildings, renovate two elementary schools and to build a new high school building, he said.

But Wise, 47, also has demonstrated he is an educational leader, Reisling said, noting that it was through the superintendent's leadership that the district was able to develop the new accelerated learning center and an all-day, every-day kindergarten program.

Wise was hired as the district's assistant superintendent for curriculum in 2002. He was named deputy superintendent in January 2007, then superintendent in October 2007, when former Superintendent Kirk Hamilton resigned to take a job with the Buckeye Association of School Administrators.

TIF for Town Center apartments OK'd

In other business Monday, the board gave its approval a Tax Increment Financing agreement between the city of Grove City and the Pizzuti Cos.

The city has entered into a tentative TIF agreement with development company for the construction of the Town Center apartment project planned on the former lumberyard property behind Grove City Hall, 4035 Broadway, but an agreement with the school district was also necessary.

A TIF is an economic development tool available to local governments in Ohio to finance public infrastructure improvements.

Under the agreement between the city and school district, 100 percent of the property taxes on improvements to the former lumberyard parcels will be diverted as "service payments" to the TIF fund for the next 24 years.

The city is issuing $4 million in bonds to pay for infrastructure improvements to the property, to be paid off by the TIF fund over the 24 years. Debt service on the bonds is estimated to run $330,000 annually.

If the amount of the "service payments" to the TIF fund exceeds the amount necessary to make debt service payments on the bonds, the city will pay 100 percent of the excess amount to the school district.

For the 25th through 30th year, the city will pay the school district 100 percent of the real property taxes the district would have received from the parcels if the exemption was not in place.

In exchange, the school district accepts the city's exemption of real property taxes and waives any right to compensation allowed under Ohio Revised Code in connection to the tax exemption.