Salisbury Press

Tuesday, March 19, 2019


Thursday, March 15, 2018 by Debbie Galbraith in Local News

Budget still has shortfall after adjustments

Business Administrator Robert Bruchak presented some changes made to the 2018-2019 preliminary budget at the March 5 operations meeting.

Although the update showed significant cuts to the preliminary budget, there is still a gap of $1,317,801.

Revenue changes since the preliminary budget was approved include an increase of $10,920 to basic education, an increase of $28,589 for special education, an increase of $12,500 for Pennsylvania State Employees’ Retirement System reimbursement and an increase of $24,000 to fund existing instructional aides.

Expenses were also reduced with the retirement of two teachers – salaries by $58,811 and benefits by $24,160. Other reductions included $45,000 in benefits due to the rate reduction in workers’ compensation insurance, $20,000 in tuition reimbursement, $6,000 in engineering fees to D’Huey Engineering and $23,837 in building budgets.

The proposed final budget revenues are $36,567,279 and the proposed final budget expenditures are $37,885,080.

Bruchak said the proposed final budget is still in progress and administrators are still looking for places to reduce expenditures or increase revenue.

Bruchak also mentioned there are unresolved factors which are influencing the final budget, including: local, state and federal revenues, additional retirements, Carbon Lehigh Intermediate Unit special education services, charter school enrollments and additional budget reduction actions.

In a graph provided at the meeting, if taxes were raised 2.4 percent, the gap of $1,317,801 would be reduced to $746,342. The tax increase would be $91.39 for the average homeowner. If the taxes were increased 4.85 percent, the gap of $1,317,801 would be reduced to $207,831. The tax increase to the average homeowner would be $177.48.

Board member Samuel DeFrank asked what the increase was for the 2017-2018 budget. The increase was 2.18 percent or $81.12 for the average homeowner.

“We can’t keep using fund balance; it will run out,” Board President Frank Frankenfield said.

“Between state and federal revenue, we don’t get enough money,” Frankenfield said.

“We are going to have some tough decisions,” Board member George Gatanis said.

The public presentation of the proposed final budget will be May 7. The proposed final budget is expected to be adopted May 9 and the final budget adoption is projected for June 13.