Hamburg Area school directors were presented with a review of the district's 2019-20 proposed final budget on April 29.

The $44,009,508 proposed spending plan includes no tax increase for a second consecutive year.

School directors had approved yearly tax increases of .25 mills- about $25 on a property assessed at $100,000- for nine straight years.

In the proposal expenditures exceed revenues by $1,918,688.

Two of the large costs on the expenditure side are charter school tuition and special education tuition which Business Manager Michele Zimmerman has budgeted at $1,150,000 and $1,325,500, respectively.

The district budgets conservatively and does not expect to have a deficit at the end of the 2019-20 school year, according to Zimmerman.

One reason for Zimmerman's optimism is because of assessment value increases of $14 million in the district due to industrial development with more in store for next year.

"The news is good, but we don't know how good (yet)," Superintendent Dr. Richard Mextorf said. "Every year since 2015 (the board) has approved deficit budgets."

For the current school year, school directors approved a $41,823,812 budget with a $950,413 deficit. Zimmerman projects the district to break even or to finish the year with a slight surplus.

If the district finishes the year with a deficit it would use the capital reserve fund to cover the deficit.

Currently the fund stands at $10,934,679.

School directors will vote on the proposed final budget on May 13.

The district's millage rate is 26.96 mills. A property assessed at $100,000 costs the property owner $2,696.

In other news, school directors approved a resolution to refund four bonds which will save the district $581,000 in net savings.

"The market is giving you an opportunity to refinance some bonds," Brad Remig, PFM Financial Advisors, Harrisburg, previously told the board. "We're not extending the period, just replacing a higher interest rate with a lower interest rate."

The bonds equal about $24 million and run through 2032-33.

The transaction will cost the district $330,000.

"It's the same term, but we'll pay less," Mextorf said. "We're locking in parameters. Here's what we're comfortable paying."

The next meeting of school directors is May 13 at 6:30 p.m. in the James A. Gilmartin Community Room.

comments powered by Disqus