BY STACI WILSON
The Susquehanna Community School Board gave its final approval to a nearly $15.7 million budget for the 2016-17 school year.
Millage was set at 48.68 mills for Susquehanna County taxpayers – up 1.65 mills over last year; and 13.73 mills in Wayne County. At a previous board meeting, Superintendent Bronson Stone explained that in Susquehanna County, property is assessed at 50 percent of fair market value; while in Wayne County, it is assessed at 150 percent of fair market value.
Business manager Gary Kiernan said the projected revenue is about $14.7 million. In order the balance the budget, the district tapped into its fund balance for just over $850,000.
Approved homestead/farmstead property owners in the district will receive a $306.49 reduction off their tax bills.
Stone did report that Susquehanna, along with the majority of districts in the state, has been named as a party in a lawsuit filed by a charter school.
School districts have the option of paying their charter school bill or having that amount automatically deducted from the state-issued basic education subsidy. Last year’s state budget stalemate led to a nine month delay in the allocation of those funds to district, and in turn, to charter schools.
Stone said that after the bills had been paid, the districts were hit with the lawsuit.
The board approved the Levin Legal Group to represent the district in the litigation.
Director of Maintenance Kevin Price said that costs for both the elementary roof and the high school boiler replacement will cost less than projected.
He also said the dishwasher had been successfully repaired. A new dishwasher would have cost about $40,000.
Student handbooks will be mailed to parents in the district this summer. The handbooks contain the school’s policy manual, including a revised dress and grooming policy for students in grades 4 through 12 and the electronic devices policy.
The board approved the purchase of the Read 180 program for the elementary school at a cost of $39,000.
Stone, who also acts as the elementary principal, said the program will be piloted with 28 student Tier 3 readers in grades 4, 5 and 6. He said the program has a great improvement record.
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