Penns Valley

Penns Valley board approves final budget

Residents in the Penns Valley Area School District won’t have to worry about a tax increase next school year.

At a board meeting Wednesday night, a 2016-17 general fund budget was unanimously approved by the board of directors.

And it comes with no increase in real estate taxes.

Board member Jeff Hyde was absent.

The $26,115,825 budget is a 2.06 percent increase from the current school year — or $528,351 more than 2015-16.

District business manager Jef Wall said the budget comes with “significant expenses,” but also “significant revenue items.”

Increases came in retirement contributions, medical insurance, charter school costs, the addition of employees to help special needs students, and extra funding in capital reserves to find future maintenance items.

Increase in retirement contributions total about $350,000; increase in medical insurance is about $100,000; two personal care aides and a special education hearing impaired interpreter in total cost $140,000; increase in charter school tuition is $43,000; and an increase of $50,000 has been put into capital reserves, a report from the district said.

Revenue items that Wall said helped benefit the budget included a bump in state funding.

The Ready to Learn Block Grant increased by $39,785; a special education subsidy increased by $40,785; and the basic education subsidy increased by $138,630.

“I just want to thank Mr. Wall, and (board member Chris) Houser and the finance committee that worked to make sure there wasn’t a tax increase,” board member Hank Yeagley said.