ARMAGH — The United School District board of directors approved a preliminary budget during a special meeting Wednesday.
According to Beth Ann Marcus, treasurer, the proposed budget includes revenues of $19,408,523 and expenditures of $19,930,796 with $522,273 used from the fund balance.
The proposed budget includes a real estate tax rate of 104.92 mills, an increase of 6.17 mills from the current year’s 98.75 mill real estate tax. Each mill represents approximately $46,000 to the district, according to finance director G. Thomas Kalinyak.
It was unclear how much the amount of the tax increase would be for the average taxpayer.
“We can’t raise anything beyond the preliminary budget, but we can go lower. What we’ve done with these exceptions is build in some flexibility,” said board President Donald Davis. “There’s no one on this board that wants to raise taxes by 6 mills, so we’re going to do everything we can to pare that down as much as possible.”
Along with the budget, the board approved to seek approval from the Pennsylvania Board of Education to increase the millage rate of real estate taxes by more than the index for the 2014-15 fiscal year. The current 3 percent index, according to Davis, only represented 2.97 mills, which would have “extremely limited” the district.
The increase will be used toward special education and pension costs, Davis said.
In other business, the board approved an agreement between ARIN IU 28 and the district regarding IDEA funding for 2013-14 with reimbursements and expenses totaling $93,128.12. This amount is used for the funding of special education, according to Kalinyak.
The board also approved a motion to approve the contract with Tri County Transportation Inc. as the transportation contractor for the district effective July 1.
According to Davis, during the Feb. 11 meeting, the board approved granting the contract once it received a completed contract from Tri County to review. The board has now been supplied with the contract, and board members may now look it over and give their approval at their next meeting on March 11.
“Technically, it hasn’t been formally approved yet, but we see no problem with that,” Davis said. “Everyone’s in agreement. Our solicitor has already given it his OK.”
In further business, the board approved:
• The retirement of Patricia Sexton as learning support teacher effective at the conclusion of the 2013-14 school year. Sexton has worked in the district for 32 years.
• The retirement of Marion Shirey as learning support teacher effective June 10. Shirey has served the district for 15 years.
• Lance Holupka as weight room supervisor at a salary of $1,147.50.