PENNS MANOR: School directors approve tentative tax increase
May 29, 2013 10:59 AM
by HEATHER BLAKE

KENWOOD — There could be a 5 mill tax increase for residents in the Penns Manor Area School District for 2013-14.

The district’s board of directors voted 5-2 Tuesday to adopt a tentative budget calling for $15,449,603 in revenues and $15,738,364 in expenditures. Board members Joette Dudeck and Jill Eckenrode voted against the motion. Board President Robert Packer and member Jerry Dick were absent.

The 5 mill increase would bring the school district’s millage rate to 107.56, which will equate to an increase of $48.55 for the average taxpayer. One mill generates approximately $26,439 of revenue for the Penns Manor school district.

Under the plan, the district also will borrow $288,761 from its fund balance.

Business manager David Kudlawiec cited rising costs in retirement and health care as main reasons for the proposed increase.

The district relies heavily on state funding, and Kudlawiec said the district has received a projection from the state of an extra $65,000 in funding, which he said is “minimal” and “still up in the air.”

Kudlawiec said special education is still flat-funded, and the district is still waiting to hear about federal funding, but that it probably is going to be flat or less due to sequestration.

“It’s still a work in progress,” he said of the budget, adding that the board will be holding at least one more budget workshop before a final budget is voted on in June. “I’m hoping we can get some final numbers from the state, if they ever pass their budget.”

Kudlawiec said even with the 5 mill increase, the district had to apply for an exception for retirement contributions. He said the district did not qualify for exceptions for special education.

“Next year we’ll see where it’s at … we’ll probably qualify again,” he said.

Also Tuesday, in an administrative restructuring move, the board approved and entered into an agreement to have ARIN IU 28 provide a director of student services to the district beginning June 10, following the retirement of student services director Bonnie Davis on June 7.

Kim Rode will be assigned to the district as coordinator of all its special education services, and will serve as the school psychologist and local education agent for all student individual education plan meetings for the entire district.

The board also granted permission to the administration to advertise for a districtwide assistant principal, whose duties will include the management and supervision of student discipline and attendance for the district.

Board members also granted permission to the administration to advertise for the position of athletic director, which will become vacant on June 30.

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