WASD OKs budget with tax increase

The Williamsport Area School Board unanimously voted in agreement to adopt a final 2017-18 budget reflecting a tax increase of .34 mills during its meeting on Tuesday.

The 2016-17 budget reflected 15.82 mills. The increase brings the 2017-18 budget to 16.16 mills.

Jeff Richards, business administrator, said the significant difference between the final budget and the previous preliminary budget was that the district was able to bring the tax increase down from the previously reported .41 mills increase due to updated reports from the county.

“We got the information from the county, and we talked it over with the finance committee. The finance committee is recommending that the increase be reduced to .34 mills,” Richards said. “That’s the major change as far as the budget is concerned.”

For a homeowner with a $100,000 valued home, the mills increase means a $34 real estate tax increase.

“The average assessed value here in our district … is $85,110, so that would be an (tax) increase of $28.94,” Richards said.

Originally, the district applied for exceptions to go over the Act I Index, which would have meant an increase of over .55 mills, but it was not necessary for the district to do so as the district was able to keep costs down.

In the final budget, total estimated revenue was listed at $97,386,578 with total estimated expenditures at $90,172,757.

“I’d like to take a moment and just thank everybody that’s worked on the budget, especially our business department,” said Lori Baer, board president. “A lot of work went into it to get it where it is now. Thank you to the finance committee also for the time they put into extra meetings and things like that.”

In other business, the board unanimously approved bids for the following:

• A new Tennant T7 Ride-On 32” Disk Scrubber and a demo Tennant TIB 15″ Cylindrical Scrubber for the high school from Clarkson Chemical Co. Inc., of South Williamsport, at a total cost of $22,705.60.

• Twenty Biofit cafeteria tables for Lycoming Valley Intermediate School from Kurtz Bros., of Clearfield, at a total cost of $30,088.

• To replace the fire alarm panel located in the tech wing of the high school from SimplesGrinnell, of Mechanicsburg, at a total cost of $14,771.

• To repair the sewer line at the service complex at a cost not to exceed $15,230 for additional work with McClure Co.

• To furnish and install mondo rubber flooring tiles in the computer lab, ramp and steps of Lycoming Valley Intermediate School from MVT Flooring, of Sunbury, at a cost of $27,000.

• To furnish and install carpet tile at a cost of $23,291.31 in Cochran Primary School and $23,390.82 in Stevens Primary School from Shaw Industries Group Inc., of Georgia.

• A new Kubota tractor with snow blower, rotary sweeper and mower for Cochran Primary School from C H Waltz Sons Inc. in the amount of $17,060.

• For wiring projects at Jackson Primary School and Curtin Intermediate School to Graybar, of Williamsport, at a cost of $12,648.

Voting yes were members Baer, Jerene Milliken, Scott Williams, Dr. Jane Penman, Dr. Nancy Story Somers and Spencer Sweeting. Members Dr. Robin Knauth, Jennifer Lake and Patrick Dixon were absent.

The next meeting will be 6 p.m. July 18.