MONTGOMERY - Seemingly content with public scrutiny the past few months, the Montgomery Area School Board approved Tuesday without further consideration the annual district budget, which includes an annual tax increase payment of $92 for the average homeowner.
District Business Manager Steven W. Rupert said the rate hike is based on the payment made by a $100,000 property owner for the 11.92 millage rate approved, which includes an increase of 0.92 mills for the $12.3 million 2011-12 school year budget.
Although the board formally passed for the upcoming school year its final district budget, Rupert said the directors reserve the right to re-open the budget in July or August.
Such a re-opening could be necessary, Rupert said, if the legislature decides to adjust the governor's allocation to the local district.
Rupert said the district's $12 million-plus bottom line could fluctuate if the budget is re-opened, but the property tax payment rate will not fluctuate, as the millage rate cannot be changed.
Among the choices made earlier this year by the board to keep the tax increase to a minimum was a decision to close the Elimsport Elementary School, whose former students will be educated at the main campus on Penn Street.
Allenwood resident Dave Strayer said Tuesday he is interested in business operations in what can now be considered the former Elimsport school.
Strayer said he is looking for a site to house his fledgling business, Drop Tine Archery, and the old school on Petersburg Road could be suitable for an archery products showcase and target range.
Although Strayer is the only person to have expressed public interest in using the building, board member Jody L. Budman hinted at other people interested when she made a motion approved by all eight board members present.
"Due to multiple requests for the building, we will advertise leasing for the building," Budman said when making her motion ultimately approved.
Board member Gabriel P. Blasi received a similar 8-0 approval vote for his separate but related motion to have the district consult an outside appraisal service for the Elimsport property.
The board approved appointments of six teachers including: R. John Cloud, sixth grade science; Paula Taylor, elementary special education; Julia Fakete, special education; Renee Kennedy, Kindergarten; Samantha Kahler, first grade and Vanessa Follmer, Kindergarten.