Preliminary budget sees tax increase

The Williamsport Area School District showed how it plans to balance its 2013-14 budget that has a deficit of about $2.14 million at Tuesday’s board meeting.

Jeffrey Richards, business manager, explained that since a preliminary budget was first presented – showing a $3.5 million deficit – in February, the board has begun to cut away at its deficit.

In order to balance the budget, Richards said the district would increase property taxes .347 mills and use about $1.62 million of fund balance.

Richards showed that about 46 percent of the district’s revenue came from the state and 43 percent came locally. Raising taxes .347 mills – which increases a property valued at $100,000 by $34.70 – would create an additional $527,579 in revenue.

The district also saw additional funds of $399,518 from the state’s accountability block grant. The retirements of 21 professional staff members will create a savings of $666,411. Richards did say that the savings is with the replacement of all retiring staff.

The district also is seeing an increase in expenditures in the coming school year. Retirement is costing the district an additional $823,000.

Richards announced that about 57 percent of the expenditures budget is instruction.

In other business, Jeff Angstadt, project manager, that work is continuing at a good pace.

“Things are moving right along,” he told the board.

When asked if he expects the building to be completed by the start of next school year, as planned, Angstadt said the only concern he has is the site work, such as the retaining wall and field work. He said the building will be done.

As for the high school, work is beginning with the excavation for a cafeteria addition. Walls in science buildings also are being “gutted.”

Since workers are in the building while students are there, all must have clearances and have badges, Angstadt reported.