Waynesboro board eyes 2.7 mill increase in school budget

June 15, 2005|by DON AINES

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - Property owners in the Waynesboro Area School District can expect a 2.764-mill increase in real estate taxes when the board considers final adoption of the 2005-06 budget next Tuesday.

"I cannot identify any additional reductions to expenditures, unless the board desires to eliminate educational programs," Superintendent Barry Dallara said Tuesday night in a budget memo to the school board.

"It is absolutely a tight budget," Board President Larry Glenn said of the $40.4 million spending plan.

The budget calls for closing a $554,386 gap between revenues and expenditures with the mill increase. One mill is the equivalent of $1 for every $1,000 in assessed value on a property.


The district's mill rate for 2004-05 is 68.12 mills, according to the budget.

Major expenditure increases in 2005-06 include $1,035,424 more for salaries and benefits and $360,000 more for medical insurance costs to approximately $4.2 million, according to Dallara.

Part of the salary increase is due to four more teaching positions at the high school, where the number of students is expected to be 1,388, up from 1,186 in 2003-04, Dallara said. The increase in medical insurance costs is relatively modest at less than 10 percent, Dallara said.

Overall, expenditures are projected to increase more than $1.8 million, or 4.78 percent. That figure, however, includes a predicted $439,772 increase in state funding for VisionQuest, an alternative education program in the district.

The district is looking at a small general fund balance of $569,823 next year, Dallara said. That is about 1.5 percent of the general fund, about half the target figure of 3 percent.

"Our fund balance is pretty small. That's pretty scary," Glenn said.

Dallara's figures were essentially unchanged from the preliminary budget approved by the board last month.

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