Inside the numbers: A closer look at Martin’s budget

MILL HALL — At Thursday night’s voting session, the Keystone Central school board formally adopted the 2019-20 budget by a 6-2 vote.

The budget breaks down like this: $74,363,531 in expenses, $74,366,866 in revenue, leaving a surplus of $3,335. The reserves remaining are $9,721,442.

Superintendent Jacquelyn Martin gave a comprehensive presentation about the budget and what future years might look like.

With no future tax increases, KCSD will be facing shortfalls in 2020-21 ($2.658,952), 2021-22 ($5,401,515), 2022-23 ($8,600,353) and 2023-24 ($12,127,032).

Some of the reasons for those deficits are rising costs in pensions, health insurance, construction/renovation projects, inadequate state funding and facilities maintenance.

“The budget pressures that we’re facing are not unique from the other 499 districts in the Commonwealth,” Martin noted.

Martin said that she has plenty of ideas to provide revenue in the coming years. Some of the ideas she discussed was a surplus sale, recovery of delinquent taxes, facility use-long term rental, corporate advertising, online advertisements and sponsorships, grants-Pennsylvania Department of Education/outside sources, community education program, increased attendance rates, diversified occupations in CTC and increased enrollment as school of choice.

The idea of a surplus sale is something that intrigues Martin.

“I think about the third week I was here, I asked ‘what is all this stuff?’ Obviously, from all of the school closings that have happened, people have been moving things around — storing and stashing for future use. And what I’m finding is we have a whole bunch of stuff that we’ll never use. I’ve asked (the administration) to get started on a surplus sale and getting things ready to go,” Martin said.

A date has not been set for the sale, Martin said.

A community education program is another idea that Martin would like to see implemented.

“I’m very interested in working with my team and this board in developing a community education program,” she said. “I think there is an opportunity for us to look at summer camps for children, to look at driver education in-car driving over the summer. Anything we can do to support our community would be an opportunity for us to generate revenue,” Martin said.

Martin also offered some ideas for cutting costs. Those include staffing, energy efficiency, transportation, facility space study, co-curricular reductions, contracted services and behavioral program-outside placements.

In other business at Thursday night’s voting session, the board:

∫ Appointed board president Boise “Bo” Miller along with board members Debra Smith and Tracy Smith as voting delegates to the 2019 Delegate Assembly meeting on Friday, Oct. 18, 2019.

∫ Approved the bid for boiler service preventative maintenance and repair from Delval Equipment, Inc., in the amount of $6,635.

∫ Approved the agreement with KCSD and NRG Controls North, Inc. for the new security camera system and equipment at Central Mountain High School and Central Mountain Middle School not to exceed $416,677.60 paid for by capital projects fund and PCCD grant funding. Pricing is based on CoStars NRG Control’s North Contract No. 008-364.

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