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Norwin dealing with increases in salaries, retirement costs

| Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Benefits, salaries and retirements costs are hitting the Norwin School District hard, according to John Wilson, the district's business manager.

The district's school board reviewed a tentative budget at a workshop session Monday evening.

"Seventy percent of the budget's total proposed increases are going for salaries, health insurance and retirement costs," Wilson said. "Benefits have increased by 15.5 percent, and the retirement rate has gone up 40 percent."

The retirement rate is mandated by the state, and the district continues to pay health benefits to retirees, Wilson said.

The preliminary 2006-07 budget shows a tentative spending package of $51.7 million and a proposed millage increase of 3.2 mills. One mill generates $345,000 in revenue for the district.

The spending package also includes increases in technology and administration costs, and it provides for hiring a new community liaison, a contracted position.

Costs for extracurricular activities are expected to increase by $20,000, which includes coaches' salaries. Wilson said the increase is "not out of line" with previous years' budgets.

Debt service also will increase because of the bond for the new Hahntown Elementary School. Construction of the school is projected to cost $12.2 million.

A vote on the tentative budget is expected at the May 15 meeting.

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