Draft budget for Southmoreland School District includes $781k deficit
Southmoreland School Directors got an early peek Thursday at the progress of the 2014-15 budget.
A working draft presented by Business Manager James Marnell showed expenditures at $27,280,639 and revenues at $26,498,681, which would leave a deficit of $781,958.
However, those involved were quick to remind that it is extremely early in the process and work will continue to reduce that deficit before a preliminary budget is approved in May and a final spending plan is adopted in June.
“The budget is a work in (progress),” Marnell said. “We still have a lot of work to go in completing it to get to that preliminary (budget), which we'll need to adopt in May. But we are on track to working toward that.”
Superintendent John Molnar reminded school directors the deficit in the early stages of the process for the 2013-14 budget was $1.4 million and that was reduced enough that a tax increase was not necessary.
“Don't get too alarmed by that $781,958 yet, we have a lot of work to do,” Molnar said.
The district entered the current school year with a deficit of $249,304, which Marnell said was eliminated. A $220,000 refund from the Westmoreland Intermediate Unit covered most of the deficit, while holding back on various purchases covered the rest.
“The worst case scenario, we're going to break even,” Marnell said concerning the current school year, before adding. “I'm seeing a positive return.”
Molnar said in the last nine or so years the district has only raised taxes on one occasion. That came with the 2012-13 budget that included a 1.66 millage hike for Westmoreland County property owners and an .0821 millage increase for those in Fayette County,
Some of the other numbers presented by Marnell included a 26.4 percent increase ($474,503) in the contribution to Public Schools Employees Retirement System and a 2.95 percent projected increase in salaries and wages based on contracts. As for revenues, the projected state subsidies check in at $14,936,257, a number Marnell doesn't expect to see change too much when a state budget is put in place.
Marnell also presented numbers that showed Southmoreland had a lower 2013-2014 millage than all but two of the 17 Westmoreland County school districts (Monessen and Norwin).
“I'm glad to see I'm on the team that's fighting to keep the tax rate as low as possible,” Marnell said.
Marnell said another update on the budget will be presented at one of the next two board meetings, which are scheduled for 7 p.m. April 3 and 10 in the middle school cafeteria.
Paul Paterra is a staff editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-887-6101 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
- Traveling amateur organists entertain fellow seniors with oldies music
- Westmoreland County municipalities push to clean up litter, dumps
- Route 217 bridge work about to start in Derry Borough
- ‘Doc Hope’ eases into retirement from West Newton veterinary clinic
- Spirit Airlines lifts fortunes of Arnold Palmer Regional Airport
- Hempfield man dies in single-vehicle accident
- Seton Hill student tells how Pa. Gov. Wolf’s tax plan will hurt her
- 2 Hempfield Area students charged with sexting
- Land costs for New Stanton turnpike interchange project reach $4.2M
- Murrysville woman apologizes for scholarship fund theft
- Mistaken identity leads to drug bust at Westmoreland County Courthouse