By DAVE GYMBURCH Staff writer

A 19-member committee of Rome school district parents and staffers to help plan a $25.4 million Strough Middle School repair project has been recommended by Superintendent Jeffrey P. Simons, and is expected to meet later this month.

Appointing the committee is on the Board of Education’s agenda tonight , along with settling an assessment dispute for a west Rome business site including a $26,000 tax refund; buying new football helmets, pending reconditioning of current models; and a $40,634 school bus lease, among the items.

The board meets at 6:30 p.m. today at the former Fort Stanwix school, 110 W. Linden St. It will be the first session since the board changed its regular meeting time from 6 to 6:30.

On the agenda:

¿ The resolution for the Strough advisory committee lists these participants: Tanya Davis, parent at Denti and Staley schools; Megan Anderegg, teacher at Rome Free Academy; Lisa Dimaggio and John Seifts, both Strough teachers; Linda Shields, secretary at Strough; Rich Randall, custodian; Amy Benson, parent at Stokes and Staley schools; Sherry Lubey, principal at Denti and a parent at Stokes and Strough; Tracy O’Rourke, principal at Strough; Mike Stalteri, assistant principal at Strough.

Also, Nancy Miller, parent at Ridge Mills and Staley; Jake Smith, Kristen/Kris Wutsch, and Korrie Tucker, all parents at Bellamy; Sarah Wilburn, parent at Denti; Molly Mecca, assistant principal at Bellamy and Denti, and a parent at Staley and Ridge Mills; Michelle Grifasi, parent at Strough and RFA; Mark Vacca, parent at Strough and Stokes; and Jolene Matt, parent at Stokes.

Members were selected after "all came forward and expressed interest" in the committee, said Simons. Its ongoing meetings will help advise the district on such details as a timetable for the Strough renovations, and whether students would be temporarily relocated or if the building would remain partially occupied. District voters approved the $25.4 million project in a public bonding referendum last month.

¿ A resolution for a tax settlement with Romny Company, Ltd., involves reducing its assessed value of about $3.3 million for property at 5781-5799 Rome-Taberg Road to about $2.4 million for 2010-11 and $2.2 million for 2011-12, said district Director of Business and Finance Christopher Abdoo. The property includes a building complex just west of Walmart that has a Sears store among the sites. Romny’s court challenge had sought to reduce the assessment to $937,500.

Under the settlement, the Rome district would pay a refund of about $26,000 from the approximately $91,000 in tax money received for the property in 2010-11, said Abdoo; the money would come from a district reserve for such cases. The payment due for 2011-12 would be reduced by a similar amount, he noted.

¿ Bids for new football helmets were sought because some of the existing helmets that are being reconditioned may not be able to meet new national standards, said Simons.

Contracts to be considered for approval include Stadium System of Canann, Conn., $136.60 per unit for up to 30 helmets and $136.25 per unit for up to 75 helmets; and in another helmet size category, Scholastic Sports Sales Ltd. of Manlius, $212 per unit for up to 30 and Riddell/All American of Elyria, Ohio, $209 per unit for up to 75.

¿ A $40,634 contract for a one-year lease, with Leonard Bus Sales of Deposit, would replace a district special education bus that developed major engine problems, said Simons. The district would likely seek voter approval in the upcoming 2012-13 budget to pursue bids for buying a new bus, he added.