The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

Local News

June 4, 2013

Board will tap reserves to close deficit

SHARPSVILLE — Sharpsville Area School Board members are planning to close a deficit of $822,150 in their 2013-14 spending plan of $15 million by taking the money out of the district’s savings-reserve account, leaving it with a balance of about $1.2 million.

If the solution sounds familiar, it’s because the board came up with the same one last year, but ended up with an untouched reserve, due to receiving wage taxes sooner than expected.

The board tossed around different strategies for balancing next year’s budget.

“We made the decision to hold the line without increasing the millage,” Superintendent Mark Ferrara said, adding that raising taxes was “not in the equation.”

Property taxes in Sharpsville, Clark and South Pymatuning Township will remain at 68.75 mills. A mill is $1 for every $1,000 of assessed property value; assessments are the 1970 market value. At 68.75 mills, a property assessed at $10,000 would carry a tax bill of $687.50.

Personnel costs remain up in the air. Ferrara said the district has been negotiating with the teachers’ union since Jan. 8.

“Contract negotiations are ongoing,” Ferrara said, adding that wage freezes are “to be determined.”

Other expenses include the remainder of work on the softball field, which Ferrara said will be paid for by a state grant obtained by Sharpsville council.

“The borough has not decided how much money they are going to use for the softball project,” Ferrara said, adding that school and borough officials plan to meet next week to discuss it.

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