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Small millage hike approved in West Mifflin

| Friday, June 28, 2013, 2:36 a.m.

West Mifflin Area school board has adopted a $46,710,296 budget for the coming school year.

It is a slight increase from the current $45.6 million spending plan and requires a .476 millage increase because of Allegheny County reassessments.

District business manager Dennis Cmar said the millage adjustment will be revenue neutral because of changes to assessed property values.

The board adopted the budget by a 5-4 vote, with board president Phil Shar, vice president Nick Alexandroff and directors Michael Price, Ted Cale and Ron Rubinsak voting for it. Directors Harry Fast, Judy Andzelik, Richard Crux and Dan McDonald voted against.

Fast said he voted no because of changes that were added to the budget since a workshop meeting last week. In particular, he said he objects to ninth-grade sports being brought back.

The district says the additional coaches will cost $17,012.

Freshman football, baseball and boys and girls basketball were eliminated several years ago because of budget constraints. All but the football program will be reinstated.

The district will end the fiscal year on June 30 with a $1.1 million fund balance. Next year, the ending fund balance is projected to be $381,945.

The new budget does not require any furloughs, although staff was reduced through attrition, officials said.

The district allocated $3,500 from its middle school construction budget for a down payment on a $12,000 steel building planners want to erect near the stadium on the high school and middle school campus.

District director of buildings and grounds Sandra Wells said the 900-square-foot building is worth $24,000 but the district is able to purchase it at a discount rate from Coastal Steel Structures because another customer bought it then changed its order.

With the down payment, Coastal Steel will hold the building until the district is ready for it. The district must pour a foundation pad.

The building will be used to house athletic and maintenance equipment.

Eric Slagle is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1966, or eslagle@tribweb.com.

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