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Loyalsock taxpayers to see real estate tax increase for school district

For the first time in three years, residents of the Loyalsock Township School District will be paying more in real estate taxes next year following the recent approval by the school board of a .43 mill increase in the rate.

This means that for every $100,000 of a property’s assessed value, another $43 will be added to the tax bill. According to M. Dan Egly, business manager and board secretary, the new rate will generate $300,000 in additional revenue for the district, which would have faced a $640,000 deficit without the added millage. The remaining deficit will be covered by fund balance monies in order to present a balanced 2021-22 budget of revenues and expenditures equal at $25,084,743.

“We did not leave any rock unturned. We look for every way we can to save the impact that these budgets have on taxpayers,” Egly said.

He shared that the district had renegotiated contracts, installed solar panels on buildings and, more recently, had approved construction of a cellular tower on district property in order to find ways to alleviate expenses.

“The district is looking at any way possible to keep from increasing taxes in the future, but unfortunately there comes a time where we’re faced with having to make these decisions,” Egly said.

Other tax rates will remain the same for next year.

The Loyalsock Township Recreation Board’s budget of $23,994 for programs available to children in the district for 2021-22 was given the OK.

The board also approved the

Homestead/Farmstead Exclusion resolution, which will enable primary residents of qualifying properties to see a reduction of $130.75 in their property taxes. There are 3,020 homesteads and nine farmsteads in the district that qualify for the exclusion.

Under personnel items, the board approved filling the following positions with noted rates of pay: Marc Walter, assistant high school principal, $86,000 for the 2021-22 school year; Maria Debrody, temporary professional employee, elementary teacher, effective Oct. 18, prorated salary of $49,059; Laura Kriger, part-time high school secretary, $13 per hour; Connie Clapper, part-time food service employee, $10 per hour; and Erika Maurer, volunteer track coach.

The following resignations were acknowledged: Julia Muse, data coordinator; Eric Gerber, social studies teacher; Brandon Schrimp, school police officer; and Kimberly Bigelow, food service employee.

The board agreed to accept a bid of $4,700 for a 2004 72-passenger bus from James McDermott. The bus had been previously sold but the sale was not completed, so the bus was rebid.

The purchase of a Cub Cadet mower from Lawn & Golf Supply Co., Inc., at a cost of $18,824 was approved.

With the beginning of summer programs in the district and changes in CDC guidelines, Superintendent Gerald McLaughlin asked the board if it objected to making wearing masks optional during the summer months. The board agreed, but stressed that it is up to individuals whether they want to wear masks or not.

Prior to the business portion of the meeting, Denise Holmes was announced as the winner of the Lauretta Woodson support staff award and Alicia Carner, a special education teacher at the high school, received a certificate of recognition for the educator awards from the group.

The next board meeting will be at 7 p.m. July 14 at the Board Conference Room, 1605 Four Mile Drive.

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