East Lycoming OKs preliminary budget

HUGHESVILLE – The East Lycoming School Board approved a preliminary 2014-15 budget Tuesday night that raises the real estate tax by 0.60 mills.

Under the $22.6 million budget, a 4.35 percent increase more than last year, the real estate tax for the district would rise to 12.65 mills and raise the tax index above the 2.9 percent maximum allowed by the state.

A mill is equal to $1 for every $1,000 of a property’s assessed value. An increase of 0.60 mills means homeowners would see an increase of $0.60 for each $1,000 of their home’s value; for example, a home worth $100,000 would see its real estate tax increase by $60.

Superintendent Michael Pawlik explained in a brief presentation about Gov. Tom Corbett’s recently revealed budget that the district is set to receive roughly $240,000 in basic education funding.

The amount does not include an increase over last year’s funding, even though the state is putting more financial pressure on school districts by contributing less to pensions and awarding more money to cyber and charter schools, he said.

“In the 2008-09 school year, we received about $285,000 in basic education funding,” Pawlik said. “We saw a cut a few years ago and we haven’t seen anything to make up that amount.”

District Business Manager Dave Maciejewski said the budget still is preliminary, and that the coming months will see plenty of work done to minimize the millage increase.

“We’re still aiming to only raise it in the neighborhood of 0.30 mills,” he said, adding that he is “very confident” in the district’s prospects for making that happen.

The budget was approved by a vote of 8-0. Voting in favor were Richard Bradley, Richard Michael, Donna Gavitt, Diane Santo, Karen Berger, Randy Eddinger, Kellie Shaner-Gordner and Amy Rogers.

In other business, the board accepted the resignation of board member Lee Ann Hawk and approved the posting of a vacancy in representation for Ward 1 and Ward 2.

The board also accepted the resignations of assistant baseball coach Corey Twigg, effective Feb. 6, and junior high/eighth-grade girls basketball coach Jeremy Eck, effective Feb. 10.

Board members also unanimously approved the hiring of Matt Yoder as assistant girls track coach, at a salary of $2,236; Erin Clementoni as cheerleading head football/competitive spirit coach, at a salary of $2,217; and Christine Cappella and Sam Hummer as part-time supervisory aides at the high school, at a rate of $9.09 per hour, with no benefits.

The next meeting will be held at 7 p.m. March 11 at Hughesville High School, 349 Cemetery St.