Mt. View final budget nearly exhausts fund balance

Mountain View’s fund balance will be nearly exhausted by the end of the next school year, district business manager Tom Witiak explained at the Monday, June 27 school board meeting.
The final budget, adopted by the board at the meeting, has expenditures at about $21.5 million, with expected revenue at $19.5 million. Witiak said the district’s fund balance would be used to cover the about $2 million deficit, leaving just under $600,000 at the end of next year – less than three percent of the overall operational budget.
School districts are passing their final budgets as they wait for the state to finalize its budget for the fiscal year.
Witiak warned that Mountain View could be hit hard by proposed cuts in the state’s funding for transportation. “We are one of the schools most impacted by the (proposed) transportation formula,” he said.
Governor Tom Wolf has proposed and increase of $100 million in basic education but a $50 million decrease in transportation.
Boardmember Kenneth Decker said there is nothing more the district can really cut.
Superintendent Karen Voigt said, “Anything we do (at this point) would impact the kids.”
Taxpayers in the district will see a slight tax increase of 1.373 mills, up from 39.211 mills in 2016 to 40.3483 mills in real estate tax.
Installment payment deadline dates were set at Aug. 31, Sept. 30, and Oct. 31. Per capita taxes, the Occupational tax, the Real Estate Transfer tax, and the Earned Income Tax were also approved.
The Homestead and Farmstead Exclusion for the district was approved in the amount of $524,503. There are 2,295 eligible homesteads and 139 eligible farmsteads. Those eligible will see about $215.49 off their tax bills in the exclusion.
Boardmember Edward Napierkowski was appointed to serve as the district treasurer for the 2017-18 school year, at a rate of $2,400.
The board also approved a three year contract for the District Office Clerical salaries and benefit package, effective July 1 through June 30, 2020.
The appointment of a person to a clerical position during the June 12 meeting was inaccurately reported in the June 21 edition of the Independent.
At the Monday night meeting, the motion was removed from the agenda. Voigt said the motion did not require a board vote and would be discussed at an administration meeting this week.
Witiak also reported that the district would be looking at bus routes over the summer break. He said small tweaks would likely be made, with possibly one re-route that could lead to some “big savings on the van side of the puzzle.”
Currently, Mountain View has six vans transporting students to Faith Mountain Christian Academy, and next year there would be seven.
Board President Michael Barhite asked Witiak to also look at ride times and crowding.
The longest bus ride in the district is currently about one hour and fifteen minutes.
Witiak said he is riding all of the projected changes and “not just looking at the map. We want to look at everything before we implement,” he said.
Potential changes will be presented at the next board meeting. Witiak said he would also meet with any bus contractors to discuss proposed changes.
In other business:
*a school photographer agreement with Craige’s Photique was approved for three years;
*a Coaching Principles and First Aid Course for Mountain View coaches was approved at a cost of $125 per coach; Anthony Borgia was approved as the instructor of the course at the rate of $29.50 per hour;
*the business manager and assistant business manager were approved as administrators not covered by the Act 93 Plan;
*teachers approved for summer school included Stephanie Kile, Anthony Gaynor and Todd Calabro;
*Amy Steadman was approved as the SKRP instructors;
*Rebecca Herbert was named the girls’ soccer assistant coach.
The next Mountain View School Board meeting is scheduled to be held Monday, July 10, in the administration offices, located in the elementary building.

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