Montgomery Area School Board approves tax increase

MONTGOMERY – The Montgomery Area School Board voted 8-1 to adopt the district’s proposed general fund budget, which includes a tax increase of 0.36 mills. The mill increase is the highest the board is able raise taxes without going over the Act 1 index.

“We are at the maximum for the index that is sent to us by the state,” Business Manager Grant Evangelisti said.

A 0.36-mill increase will cost the average homeowner with a property value of $100,00 a $36 increase in taxes next year.

The total expenditures are $13,852,432 and revenues are $13,553,432.

The board will use $299,000 from the fund balance to pay for increases of $161,636 in health benefits and $137,354 in the Pennsylvania State Employees Retirement System.

Voting in favor to adopt the budget were Adam Diggan, Jody Budman, Gary Yocum Sr., Gabriel Blasi, Augustine Spizzirri, Todd Woodling, Paul Styker Jr. and D. Todd Baker. Absent from the vote was Christopher Johnson.

In other business, Gary Yocum was elected board treasurer and Daniel Rogers was appointed the district auditor for the 2014-15 school year.

The board also accepted retroactive resignations from Kathy Pentz, custodian, effective April 22; Shirley Stocum, cafeteria worker, effective May 13; and Todd Wright, maintenance and custodial supervisor, effective May 2.

The board hired:

Shelley Pysher, as a substitute cafeteria worker;

John Heilman, full-time custodian and maintenance worker at an hourly rate of $10 per hour plus benefits; and

Ryan Deitrick, full-time custodian and maintenance worker at an hourly rate of $10 per hour plus benefits.

The board also approved the following part-time custodians: Dillon Laidacker, Katie Scarborough, Brittany Hipple, Rachel Hite, Rebecca Hite, Seth Winder, Lisa Gray and Tina Ayers.