Plum district officials still looking at $3.2M budget deficit
Kevin Dowdell is ready to get down to business on the district's budget deficit.
“We have a $3.2 million deficit, and it's the end of March,” said Dowdell, Plum School Board member and chairman of the finance committee. “We've got to start getting serious here.”
The draft of the 2013-14 spending plan projects expenses at $58.6 million and revenue at $55.4 million, according to district business Manager Eugene Marraccini.
Salaries and wages, fixed costs, account for $29 million or about half of the expenditures in the projected budget, Marraccini said.
The current millage is 22.2. A mill generates about $1.2 million.
About $1 million was trimmed from the initial $4.3 million deficit. Marraccini said the largest cuts included about $130,000 related to hiring nine teachers rather than an initial 11. Eleven teachers have indicated they plan to retire at the end of the school year.
About $100,000 was reduced in the transportation budget for buses, $249,000 was decreased for interest on construction and Allegheny Intermediate Unit special-education services were reduced by $200,000, Marraccini said.
Marraccini said one of the largest expenditure hikes is the district's payment to the Public School Employees' Retirement System from $3.5 million in the current budget to $4.9 million in the 2013-14 spending plan.
Health benefit, special education and technology costs also are expected to rise.
District officials also are planning to spend more money — nearly an additional $350,000 — for cyber and charter school tuition, making the total about $800,000. Superintendent Timothy Glasspool said currently 73 students are enrolled in the programs. Comparatively, 61 students were in programs during the prior school year.
Marraccini also said the district's reserve fund currently contains about $3.3 million.
Board President Andrew Drake challenged members of both the education and facilities committees as well as the administration to suggest cuts to the budget.
“No one wants to cut anything, but we have a $3.3 million gap,” Drake said. “We have to have recommendations.”
Glasspool plans to give a list of potential cuts to board members for review.
Board member Richard Zucco said the board also needs to keep in mind that money is needed for various maintenance and repair projects including the gymnasium floor at Center Elementary School, a sewer line and four roofs.
Zucco suggested the board consider a small bond issue — $2 million to $3 million – for the projects.
“We don't want to run out of money when something needs repaired,” Zucco said.
The board has scheduled an additional finance committee meeting to discuss the budget next month. The meetings are scheduled for 6 p.m. April 2 and April 23 in the board room at the high school.
The board typically votes on a budget during its June meeting to submit a balanced spending plan to the state by July 1.
Karen Zapf is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8753, or email@example.com.
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.
- Case of fired Plum police officer goes to arbitrator
- Plum’s former Pivik school building likely destined for wrecking ball