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Plum School board postpones vote on preliminary budget

| Wednesday, April 30, 2014, 12:36 p.m.

The Plum School Board on Tuesday night postponed consideration of a preliminary budget for the 2014-15 school year.

The vote was 5-4 to table a vote on a $58.1 million proposed spending plan that used nearly $800,000 in money from the district's reserve fund to balance it and did not include a tax increase. The proposed spending plan held the line on taxes at 18.758 mills.

The vote went along party lines with the five Republicans voting for the table while the four Democrats voted against it.

Board vice President Joe Tommarello made the motion to table consideration of the proposed budget.

“We believe there is a lot more information to digest,” Tommarello said. “There is still a lot to be figured out.”

Tommarello said some board members want to take another look at using nearly $800,000 in reserve money to balance the budget. Tommarello also wants to further explore board President Sal Colella's suggestion to raise taxes to the Act 1 index, give the money back to property owners and put them on notice that a tax increase to the index would be enacted for the 2015-16 school year.

Board member Tom McGough who has said the board needed to “move forward and get off dead center” with a preliminary budget and who voted against tabling consideration of a spending plan, said Wednesday that members will continue their work.

“It was tabled by the majority,” McGough said. “We will come back together as a team next month and go back over the budget item by item.”

The next finance committee meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. on May 21 in the board room at the high school, 900 Elicker Road.

Karen Zapf is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8753 or kzapf@tribweb.com.

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