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No tax hike anticipated for Apollo-Ridge School District

Brian C. Rittmeyer
| Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Apollo-Ridge School District board adopted a preliminary $21.45 million 2010-11 budget that calls for no tax increase.

The district could have raised taxes by 2.9 percent, under limits imposed by the state.

Spending is up by about 3 percent from the $20.81 million 2009-10 budget.

The budget is built with revenue of about $20.69 million. The roughly $756,000 shortfall will be covered from the district's fund balance, projected to total about $4.28 million on June 30.

The district's tax rates are currently 59.5 mills in Armstrong County and 137.61 mills in Indiana County. Although the district is not raising taxes, board President Greg Primm said the rates could change based on the formula used to equalize the tax rates between the counties.

Under the current rates, the owner of a home assessed at $26,423, the median assessed value in Armstrong County, pays about $1,572 in school property taxes. In Indiana County, where the median home assessed value is $7,730, a homeowner pays about $1,064.

Items adding to the budget include $186,000 in salary increases, and a $267,000 increase in health insurance, a hike of about 11.5 percent; a $348,000 increase in retirement rate changes; and a $200,000 increase in debt service.

Some savings are derived from the reduction of one teaching position and one teacher retirement.

Sixteen capital improvement projects total $150,000. They include carpeting at the high school, security cameras at the high school and middle school, renovating the middle school gym, renovating the high school football practice field and replacing an air-handler unit.

The board discussed adding baseball field dugouts to the list of projects, which will be considered before the final adoption of the budget in June.

In other business:

• The board approved setting limits for change orders for the Owens Field stadium renovation at $10,000 per occurrence, not to exceed two occurrences, for a total of $20,000 in one month before full board approval is needed. Changes under $10,000 will require the approval of the board president, vice president and secretary.

• The board awarded a $16,039 contract for the high school hall carpet replacement, which includes a lifetime warranty, to Brian Butch Carpets of Vandergrift.

Additional Information:

Coming up

Who: Apollo-Ridge school board

What: Final budget adoption

When: 7:30 p.m. June 21

Where: Board room, high school, Route 56, Kiski

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