ShareThis Page

Sto-Rox may fall $2.5M short

| Saturday, Feb. 28, 2009, 12:00 p.m.

The Sto-Rox School District could run out of money by May if it doesn't get a loan to tide it over until property tax revenue starts coming in, the school board president said Friday.

"We could miss payroll and then the state would come in and take over," said board president Kevin Kochirka, 39, of Stowe.

Kochirka said the district could need as much as a $3 million infusion, but called that a "worst-case scenario." He said it is more likely the district will need $2 million to $2.5 million.

To be approved for an emergency loan, the district would have to file a petition in Allegheny County Common Pleas Court and have it approved by a judge.

Kochirka said unexpected expenses, including a water leak at one school and failed sewer pumps at another, have exhausted the district's budget. He also cited charter school bills that were double what was expected.

Districts are responsible for paying for children who attend charter schools.

"We don't have a very big tax base," said board vice president Lenora Karpa, 61, of Stowe. "This is two poor towns. We just can't raise taxes constantly."

Karpa said it's too early to tell which programs in the district could fall under the budget ax.

The district hopes to avoid falling under state control again, as it did in 1992. The state raised taxes and laid off teachers to get the district's finances in order, Karpa said.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using 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.

click me