School board approves budget; no tax increase

MONTGOMERY — The Montgomery Area School Board unanimously approved a no-tax-increase, $16.8 million general fund budget and voted 3-4 against raising lunch prices by 5 cents districtwide on Tuesday.

The general fund budget for every school year takes care of everyday expenses including salary, benefits and anything that the board spends. For the current 2018-19 school year, the tax rate is 15.21 mills, which will stay the same for the 2019-20 school year.

In another matter, the board discussed a possible 5-cent increase in breakfast and lunch prices. Business Manager Grant S. Evangelisti’s calculation sheet recommends a 10-cent increase, but the board stuck with a motion to increase by five cents, which failed.

“I’m just going to clarify that we do a calculation sheet and it said to increase it 10 cents, actually,” said Evangelisti. “If it goes negative, it comes out of that fund (general fund). It was supposed to be 10 cents last year, too. I would say we probably have one of, if not the, lowest cost for students.”

Robyn Schreiver, Tony Wright and Gary Yocum voted yes, while Chris Johnson, Dana Pick, Jon DeSantis and Paula Yeckley voted no.

“The prices will stay the same, it just means that we will be using some of the fund balance from the previous year to cover the costs,” said Evangelisti.

Other finance items that were approved include collecting real-estate taxes, and the appointment of five financial institutions as school depositories for the 2019-2020 school year. The school’s depositories for the school year will be:

•Muncy Bank & Trust

•Pennsylvania Local Government Investment Trust, Harrisburg

•Pennsylvania School District Liquid Asset Fund

•Jersey Shore State Bank

•Citizens and Northern

The next Montgomery Area School board meeting is 7 p.m. July 16 in the Administrative Boardroom at 120 Penn St.