Slippery Rock Area voters face debt decision
Voters in the Slippery Rock Area School District will decide on Nov. 6 whether to take on millions of dollars in debt, while Center voters will choose whether they will have fewer supervisors.
Residents throughout the district, including those in northern Butler and southeastern Mercer County, will decide whether it will borrow more than $38 million for renovations to the district's high school, with about 675 students, and Moraine Elementary, which houses about 400 students. The district has a total of about 2,125 students.
“It would be a significant millage increase,” said Paul Cessar, district business manager. Under state law, the district would only be allowed to raise taxes just over 2 mills without voter permission. The debt would mean taxpayers would pay about 11.5 to 12 additional mills.
For someone with an assessed value of $20,000, and a sales value of about $120,000, the new debt would mean he or she would pay about $250 extra each year in property taxes to the school district, Cessar said.
The board had talked about renovations to district buildings, but Cessar said the project was scaled down after several public meetings earlier this year. Members of the school board could not be reached for comment.
In Center, with a population of nearly 8,000 residents, voters will decide whether the board of supervisors will remain at five members, or shrink to three. The board was last a trio in 2001. More than 500 residents signed petitions to place the referendum on the ballot. If it goes through, three supervisors would be elected in 2013, to begin serving in 2014.
Township secretary/treasurer Anthony Amendola said salaries and benefits for five supervisors cost the township about $85,000 of Center's $1.5 million budget.
Supervisors Ed Latuska, Andrew Erie and Philip Wulff get health care benefits, while Kenneth Frenchak and Ronald Fiatt opted out and are on their spouse's plan.
Resident Beverly Schenck, a supervisor from 1998 through 2001, said she's helped spearhead the referendum. She's been in a legal battle with the township over open records, seeking the names of the Unionville Volunteer Fire Department's roster.
“Citizens thought they'd have better representation and diversity (going from three to five supervisors), but that hasn't happened,” Schenck said.
She added that the township used up a multimillion dollar budget surplus and has taken on debt over the last decade.
Frenchak said the township is not in as bad financial shape as opponents of the board have said, with a $275,000 surplus this year.
He added that he believes only the governor, after a Senate hearing, could remove a supervisor mid-term, so referendum results could be challenged in court.
“The voting public has all the information out there to make a decision,” Frenchak said. “Whatever they're going to choose, they're going to choose.
“If the people want it that way, that's fine, but there's going to be things that will happen.”
Bill Vidonic is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-380-5621 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- eReader books also available to borrow at local libraries
- Teens elevate Western Pa. communities with Eagle Scout projects
- Mt. Lebanon history center project gets OK
- More fear ‘tackle’ football too risky for kids
- Museum’s ‘Carnegie Trees’ exhibit shows ‘Winter Wonders’
- 50 years later, Vietnam vet gets his degree at Westminster
- Plush penguins for patients keep memory of Monroeville boy alive
- Decorated World War II veteran gets visit, gift from ex-Steeler