Share This Page

No tax increase planned for CASD property owners

| Saturday, June 29, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

Using more than $1.5 million of its fund balance, Connellsville Area School Board Thursday passed a 2013-14 budget. The budget allows real-estate taxes to remain unchanged from 2013-14.

Before agreeing to balance the budget by taking $1,666,900 from the fund balance, revenues were approved at $65,603,300 and expenditures at $67,270,200.

The district's fund balance will now stand at $5,856,638.

Business Manager Eugene Cunningham said the fund balance has been decreasing for the last three years, since the district has been using it each year to help balance the budget.

“We'd like to see that trend change,” he said.

Cunningham explained money has been taken from the fund balance in recent years because of almost $4 million a year in funding that continues to be cut from state and federal allocations.

During public comment, Bryan Kiesel, a CPA, said the board “has a fiduciary responsibility to the taxpayer to safeguard the district's assets and provide the best academic preparation for our students.

“The argument that the board doesn't know what funding will be from year to year is a foolish argument offered as an excuse for not understanding how to manage a $70-million business,” he added. “What business has a crystal ball to know what its sales will be from year to year? Yet millions of businesses develop their business plans to control their financial destiny.”

No board members commented on the budget.

As part of the budget process, a motion passed to set the millage rate at 12.60 mills, the same as this past fiscal year, per $100 of assessed valuation of real estate.

In other finance business, directors accepted the workers compensation insurance policy from Highmark Casualty Insurance Company at a savings of more than $6,000 from last year's policy and the district's excess liability insurance policy with Old Republic Insurance Company at a savings of almost $500 from last year's policy.

The board approved the errors and omissions insurance participation agreement for the PSBA Insurance Trust's School Leaders: Legal Liability Risk Management Program at an increase of $4,400, as well as the district's Property/Casualty Insurance Policy with PSBA/ACE USA at an increase of $11,120.

Directors adopted the 2013-14 Connellsville Area Career and Technical Center Budget with revenues and expenditures balanced at $3,837,100.

Under personnel and review, a motion passed to extend contracts for JROTC instructors Ulysses R. Winn and Chief Joseph M. Cordier from July 1 of this year to June 30, 2014.

July's regular board meeting has been canceled.

Rachel Basinger is a freelance writer.

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.