MASB okays $23.3M budget
BY PAT FARNELLI
The Montrose Area School Board approved a final budget of $23,377,538 at a special meeting Thursday night.
According to Superintendent Michael F. Ognosky, that figure represents the expenditures anticipated for the 2012-13 school year, which are a reduction of almost $45,000 from last year’s total.
The tax rate will be set at 43 mills of assessed valuation on real estate. “This is our current millage, the same as it’s been for the past four to six years,” Ognosky said.
Although the final figures were not in on the state budget, Ognosky estimated a community block grant around $136,000 would be included.
After the Community Block Grant comes in, we should be getting to a nearly balanced budget,” he said.
At this time, Ognosky estimated that the expenditures over revenue equaled about $20,000,
The Homestead Farmstead exclusion was set at $8,077 for a tax dollar savings value of $347.31 for those who qualified.
According to board president Chris Caterson, this tax exclusion, which results from gambling money being deducted from property tax, is roughly the same total divided among more property holders. “The pie is the same, just more slices,” he explained.
The board approved a motion declaring the board’s intention to commit funds from the district’s natural gas lease to be used to offset the Pennsylvania State Employees Retirement cost increases for the next year. The district strictly set aside funds for this purpose, but did not need to use any during this past year.
Caterson commended the finance committee for its work and preparation resulting in the budget.
In other business, the board appointed the following coaches: Cortney Hoffa as assistant varsity field hockey coach at a salary of $1,750; Christopher Kearney as assistant varsity boy’s basketball coach, at a salary of $3,307.50; Michael Zuba as head junior high boys’ basketball coach at a salary of $2,817.50; and Jerald Homsher as assistant varsity wrestling coach at a salary of $3,150.
Two advertised coach positions did not have any applicants, and will be reposted in the fall: assistant junior high basketball coach, and junior high wrestling coach.
A summer day camp will be held atChoconutValleyElementary SchoolJuly 9-Aug. 9. Seven counselors, two teachers, and five specialists were hired for this camp.
Also, the board approved the hiring of two EMTs for the camp, to take the place of a camp nurse, since no nurse could be found. The board approved hiring the following EMTs at $15 per hour, subject to appropriate credentials: Rachel Klein and Phyllis McNamara.
Sean Madden was approved as a summer school social studies teacher at the high school, based upon enrollment, at the contracted rate of $29.08 per hour. There will be only four summer school courses offered this summer, based on enrollment, Ognosky said, and there will not be a summer school program next year, as it is not included in the budget.
Polly Pritchard, French teacher at the high school, requested a reduction in position status from full-time to half-time for the next school year. Ognosky said that this scheduling should work out well with the number of French students currently enrolled. Pritchard will teach in the afternoons for the last four class periods.
A representative of the school bus and van drivers attended to ask if there was anything in the budget to increase pay for transportation workers.
Caterson replied, “I believe you need more money, and I’m going to recommend giving you a raise late in the summer, after the reports from the auditors are in, if it’s been a good year. I will tell you, I’m in favor of it.”
Caterson said that there is $150,000 reserved for other expenses in the budget.