Trail Board approves tax increase

First Posted: 6/30/2010

In their final meeting before an anticipated July break, the Lackawanna Trail Board of Education voted to approve both the district budget and tax rates for the 2010-2011 fiscal year.
Held Monday, June 28, the meeting included board members approval of a budget of $18,451,633 for the upcoming fiscal year. In order to fund that figure, board members approved a tax increase of 0.5 percent for Lackawanna County district residents, and 2.8 percent for Wyoming County district residents. The mills of assessed value will be 129.66 for Lackawanna County residents and 67.74 for Wyoming County residents. One mill is worth $1 tax for every $1,000 of assessed property value.
The increase is expected to generate an additional $100,000 in revenue for the district, which several board members voiced support for in light of an uncertain situation with the passing of the upcoming Pennsylvania State Budget, as well as an anticipated spike in the Pennsylvania Public School Employees Retirement System (PSERS) savings rate that is forecast to take effect during the 2012-2013 fiscal year. Another option, as presented by district business manager David Homish, would be to vote for no increase for the second consecutive year, but face less funds available if shortfalls from the state budget present themselves later in the year.
In voting, the board approved both the budget and tax rates by an 8-1 vote. Board member Dan Naylorwas the lone dissenting vote on both issues.
In other business, the board approved a number of hires for teaching and coaching positions in the district. Included in the hires was Steve Jervis, currently entering his second year as head football coach in the district, to a secondary science teaching position. Also hired to the position of head varsity girls basketball coach was Errol Mannick, who held the same position in the Mountain View School District during the 2009-2010 school year.
Approved was a lease between the district and NEC Financial Services LLC for a new district-wide phone system to be installed by Guyette Communications. The five-year lease is valued at $67,827.30. Homish pointed out that is a standard bidding price for such work done at the state level, and that the school district would take ownership of the phone system at the conclusion of the lease.
The Lackawanna Trail Board of Education has not scheduled any meeting in the month of July. However, beginning with the month of August, the district will move their normal dates for district work sessions and meetings to the first and second Monday evenings of the month, respectively.

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