B-W board likely will adopt budget at May 8 meeting

| Thursday, April 18, 2013, 11:57 a.m.

The process of adopting the Baldwin-Whitehall School District 2013-14 fiscal budget is underway.

Mark Cherpak, business manager for the district, presented preliminary numbers for the 2013-14 school year budget on April 10. Cherpak said he anticipates the school board will adopt the preliminary budget at its May 8 meeting and approve the final document at the June 12 meeting.

“That's our pool of money. That's all we bring in, so we can't spend any more than that,” Cherpak said.

The 2011 Allegheny County property tax reassessment could cause some taxpayers to pay more in 2013-13 school year, depending on the property value, Cherpak said.

Property assessments went up about 24 percent so to remain revenue neutral the district will reduce the millage from 23.4 to 19.21, Cherpak said. One mill in Baldwin-Whitehall is equal to $1.87 million.

But more than $78.7 million in property taxes still is under appeal with Allegheny County, Cherpak said.

Revenue for the 2013-14 budget is estimated at $61 million, while expenses are about $60.7 million, Cherpak said.

Baldwin-Whitehall will receive about $41 million in local revenue, which almost entirely covers personnel costs. The district also will receive about $19.1 million in state revenue and about $1 million in federal funds, Cherpak said.

Items approved or discussed at the April 10 meeting include the following:

• Solicitor Edward Lawrence, of Tucker Arensberg, will resign effective on June 30. Lawrence served the district for more than 37 years.

A committee made up of school board members Martin Michael Schmotzer, Nancy Crowder and Diana Kazour will seek a replacement.

• The school district calendar is set for the 2013-14 school year.

The school board approved the calendar, where students begin on Aug. 26 and go until June 6, 2014. Graduation is scheduled for June 3, a Tuesday.

Other highlights include fall semester conferences on November 14-15; a winter break that begins on Dec. 23 and goes until Jan. 1; spring semester conferences on Feb. 13-14 and no school on April 17, 18 and 21 for a spring break.

Laura Van Wert is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5814 or at lvanwert@tribweb.com.

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