BY STACI WILSON
Montrose Area School Board members will continue to discuss adding a School Resource Officer position at a finance committee meeting scheduled to be held Monday, June 4, 6 p.m.
Cost to add the SRO to the budget is expected to cost about $90,000.
Although the board approved a preliminary expense budget of about $26.5 million at the May meeting (which included the SRO cost), the board pulled from the agenda an agreement with the Susquehanna County District Attorney’s Office to utilize services of a School Resource Office pending a mutually satisfactory contract.
The board had heard from the District Attorney’s office, as well as state police, and the Blue Ridge School District – which has had an SRO in place for the 2017-18 school year – at a previous finance committee meeting.
Board member Richard Jordan said he did not want to turn the Montrose student body into a “cadre of informants.”
Board member Paul Adams called for a draft of the contract before moving forward with adding the position in the district.
The school district is looking at a deficit of about $450,000 in the preliminary 2018-19 budget, which would come from the fund balance to cover the shortfall.
The proposed budget also calls for no tax increase for the coming year.
The overall proposed budget is just over $200,000 less than the 2017-18 budget; and includes the use of committed funds for PSRS (employee pension); curriculum; and just over $61,000 of the fund balance to balance the budget.
The preliminary budget numbers include the addition of the School Resource Officer at the anticipated cost of about $90,000.
The school board’s business meeting – where they are expected to adopt a final budget – will be held Monday, June 11, at 6 p.m., at the Choconut Valley Elementary School.