MONTGOMERY - Featuring no tax increases for its residents, the Montgomery Area School Board approved its 2008-09 budget on Tuesday.
Within the $12,855,047 budget, the millage rate will stay at 11. A mill is $1 for every $1,000 of assessed property value.
Explaining how the budget was balanced, business manager Steven Rupert said, "We ended up cutting capital equipment expenditures."
The board had considered replacing janitorial supplies and classroom desks at a cost of about $60,000, according to Rupert. "We'll be able to get by another year with them," he said.
By keeping these items for at least another year, the board was able to retain a specialized reading services teacher at the secondary level and a ninth-grade academy, according to Rupert. The board had, at previous meetings, considered cutting these programs to save money.
"We didn't want to make any impact on staffing or the instructional process," Rupert said.
Adding another physical education teacher also was considered at the budget preparation meetings, but the district will not make that addition, Rupert said.
All other taxes will stay the same in the 2008-09 budget, according to Rupert.
That includes a 0.5 percent real estate transfer tax, 1.25 percent wage tax, $5 municipal services tax and $125 per unit mechanical device tax.
Through homestead and farmstead exclusions, approved residents will see reductions in assessed values posted on their July 1 tax notices, Rupert said.
Homestead exclusions of $222.50 will be bestowed upon 1,418 approved homesteads. Although no parcels solely considered farmsteads were approved for $111.25 exclusions, an additional 40 parcels are approved homestead/farmstead combinations, allotting them $333.75 each.
In a separate matter, the board approved a 1 percent adjustment to fuel contracts for bus drivers Ivan Farley and Gary Werner. The adjustment is retroactive for the 2007-08 school year.
The two contractors are paid a daily rate by the district, according to Rupert. A 1-percent increase equates to a payment of about $1,800 for each contractor, or about $10 per day.
Cafeteria prices, for all students and adults, were set for the upcoming school year. A 10-cent increase was approved for all breakfasts and lunches.
Also, a $2,978 change order was approved for electrical work at the Montgomery Area Community Center scoreboard on Old Road.
Approved personnel recommendations, effective at the beginning of the upcoming school year, include the resignation of Lyndci Mullen, middle school special education aide, and a nine-week childbearing/rearing leave of absence for Heather Kresock, middle school special education teacher.
A contract, of an unspecified amount, was approved with Jeannette Masser as the restaurant assistant for the upcoming school year.