Wyoming area school board approves proposed budget with maximum tax increase

EXETER — At Tuesday’s regular monthly meeting, the Wyoming Area School Board approved a proposed budget for the 2022-23 school year with a 4.6% increase in property tax, the maximum allowed by state law without voter approval or special state exemption. The vote does not finalize a tax increase; the board must vote on a final budget by June 30.

The budget calls for expenditures of just over $42 million against revenues of $41.95 million, leaving a deficit of $111,001 to be covered by a surplus expected to reach nearly $2.8 million at the end of the year. end of June. If the tax increase remains in the final budget, the property tax rate would drop from 17.9152 mills to 18.7392 mills in Luzerne County and from 86.5920 to 91.558 mills in Wyoming County. A mill is a tax of $1 for every $1,000 of assessed land value.

Business consultant Tom Melone noted that the proposal did not include any additional state money. For the current school year, the district received approximately $300,000 more than the previous year. Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf’s proposed budget would increase state funding for the district by just over $1.9 million, though the Republican-controlled legislature is not expected to approve the entire increase. .

The board also:

• Accepted the resignations of Chad Lojewski, head coach of varsity women’s basketball, and food service employee Kendra Evans.

• Approved the West Side Career and Technology Center budget for fiscal year 2022-23. The CLC serves five member school districts and is governed by a joint operating committee made up of school board members from each district. The CLC budget must be approved by member school districts.

• Approved contributions for the current fiscal year to the Wyoming Free Library and the West Pittston Library. Contributions are $2,000 each.

• Approved a contribution of $300 to the Greater Pittston Regional Ambulance for the current fiscal year.

• Appointment of four school dentists to write state-required exams for kindergarten, ninth grade and seventh grade for 2022-2023: Dr. Steven Bonomo, Dr. Erani Pagliarini, Dr. Ann McDonough and Dr. Ryan McDonnell.

• Named Golden Photo Studio as the yearbook’s official photography studio for 2022-23.

• Commercial consultant authorized Albert B. Melone Company to solicit quotes if necessary to obtain a tax anticipation note (TAN) 2022-23. TANs are short-term loans that government entities sometimes take out to cover operating costs until tax revenue begins to flow at the start of each fiscal year.

• Approved a letter of advice to the Northeast Health Care Trust indicating that the district reserves the right to withdraw from the trust in 12 months. The Trust is a consortium of school districts formed to reduce health care costs, and notice of potential withdrawal has become almost routine for some districts each year to retain the ability to leave the trust that year.

• Appointment of Rita Mauriello as Title I consultant with a stipend of $6,000. Title I is a federal grant program designed to help school districts with high percentages of low-income students, and the stipend will be paid from federal dollars.

• Appointed Rosella Fedor and Juel Anne Klepadlo as Chairs of the Wyoming Region Scholarship/Awards Program with an allocation of $5,000 each for the 2022-23 school year.

• Canceled the appointment of Gina Manganiello as volleyball head coach for the 2022-23 fall season.

• Appointed James Stoss and Brenda Jurchak as 4-hour food service employees.

Contact Mark Guydish at 570-991-6112 or on Twitter @TLMarkGuydish

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