2011-06-16 / Front Page

Forbes Road Adopts Final 2011-12 Budget

Holds the line on property taxes
By Jean Snyder
STAFF WRITER

Forbes Road School District Board of Directors unanimously approved a final 2011-12 operating budget and voted to hold the line on property taxes at its regular meeting last Monday evening.

The directors gave final approval to an operating budget of $6,879,834.78 for the coming school year. Revenues are estimated at $6,456.497 in regular revenues and $423,337.78 from other funding sources.

Following passage of the budget, the board also unanimously set tax rates as follows: property tax, 35.042 mills; wage and profits tax, 1 percent; percapita tax under 511, $5; percapita tax under 679. $5; occupation tax, $10; and real estate transfer tax, 1 percent. The taxes all remain unchanged from last year.

The board also passed a resolution for property tax allocation for using gaming funds of $172,334.93 to those taxpayers qualifying for a homestead/farmstead exemption. According to the board, the real estate tax reduction for those who qualify should equal approximately $180.64 per parcel. One board members voted “no” on the resolution.

The board also adopted the Earned Income Tax Resolution that levies the earned income tax and directs the filing of tax returns and the collection of the taxes.

In closing out the school year, the board voted to move any additional unassigned fund balances as of June 30, 2011, to committed fund balances, with the amount to be determined upon completion of the 2010- 2011 fiscal year audit. Committed fund balances will be used for future payment of bond principal, interest payments and health insurance and PSERS retirement rate increases.

During general business, board members were given updates on the vo-tech, maintenance and reports from both the elementary and high schools. High school Principal Christina Ramsey reported on a grant for a bullying program and assembly, and she also reported that students have received their 2011-12 schedules, and summer online courses are being offered for course failures.

Elementary Principal Paul Swope reported on the May 27 trip to DelGrosso Amusement Park, which was attended by all second- through sixth-graders who earned the reward trip. He also reported on end-of-year testing, the awards assembly and the revision of the elementary school handbook.

Superintendent Fred Foster presented an appreciation certificate to Fred Gutshall, recognizing the board’s solicitor for 21 years of service, dedication and commitment to the Forbes Road School District.

The board voted to retain Dr. Jamie Hall as the school dentist at gratis per dental exam for the 2011-12 year and voted to retain Deb Messner, nurse practitioner, to conduct school physicals at $7 per exam.

The remainder of the agenda included various items for approval that was given for:

 Charging students $10 for sports physicals beginning in the 2011-12 school year;

 Purchase of two Followspot projecting spotlights using Auditorium Association funds;

 Purchase of additional buses for contractors Bolinger and Snyder as presented;

 Permission for students age 8 and older with special needs to participate in Special Olympics athletic events;

 A football co-op with Southern Huntingdon County School District as presented;

 Approved a request to use the school for a Back to School Prayer Night on August 21, 2011, and morning prayer meetings on Tuesday mornings from 7:30- 7:45 a.m.;

 Use of the gym during the summer for junior high boys basketball activities;

 Hustontown Area Volunteer Fire Co.’s request for use of the auditorium and cafeteria for fundraisers featuring concerts by Jeff Krick on September 17, 2011, and September 15, 2012. Various other requests for use of the gymnasium, music room and athletic facilities were also approved.

With regard to school policies and procedures, the board approved revising the 2011-12 school calendar to add August 17 as a teacher in-service day and approved various policy procedures.

Personnel decisions made included: acceptance of the resignations of Sarah Groat and Nathan Whitsel effective at the close of the 2010-11 year; hiring of Jason Carbaugh as director of technology at a salary of $51,000 with no benefits on a 260-day contract; elimination of the high school receptionist position and one maintenance position as presented as a cost-cutting measure; and a compressed work week policy for all 12- month employees during the summer months of 2011 beginning the week of June 6. Office hours will be from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Also under personnel, the following were approved as fulltime aides: Paula Christy, Yvonne Sweger, Rhonda Weaver and Brenda Wright. The following were approved as part-time aides: Julie Berkstresser, Linda Blair, Melissa Henry, Vicki Miller and Tammy Waite.

Following a 17-minute executive session for personnel reasons, the board approved non-teaching contracts (support staff, administrative assistants and administration) as presented. One board member abstained and two voted “no.”

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