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JS school district preliminary budget shows $883,141 deficit

JERSEY SHORE — The Jersey Shore Area School Board has passed a proposed budget for 2021-22 with no tax increase. However, district superintendent Brian Ulmer warns there may be changes in the spending plan before final adoption next month to make up a $883,141 deficit.

“What you passed as the proposed tonight, goes on display for 30 days. You can make changes to it before you approve it at the beginning of June,” Ulmer told the board.

As it stands, the budget shows total revenues of $42,808,049 and expenditures of $43,691,190, which leaves a deficit of $883,141. The unassigned fund balance is $3,713,977 which are funds that could be used to balance the budget.

“Regardless of what you do with taking the difference out of fund balance or closing that gap with a tax increase, it doesn’t have any bearing on what that proposed budget ends up being in the final. Your tax increase or your taking money out of the fund balance would indicate what you’re going to do to fund the remaining part of that budget,” he said.

Current real estate tax rates for the district are 13.50 mills for Clinton County and 18.31 for Lycoming County.

Ulmer added that historically the board votes on the budget at the second meeting in May, so that he was asking members of the board to let either he or Ben Enders, district board manager, know what they would like to do to resolve the deficit.

“Typically you would give us some sort of direction prior to that meeting to say what do you want that agenda item to look like,” Ulmer said. He added that board members should email their suggestions by May 18, so that the agenda for the May 24 meeting could be set with the inclusion of the board’s input.

In other business, the board unanimously approved a five-year contract for Dr. Ken Dady, assistant superintendent. Dady will be paid a base salary of $121,500 with future salary adjustments at the discretion of the board.

Under other personnel items, the board approved hiring: Cody Wilson, game staff for the Athletic department; Julie Williams, online secretary at a rate of $31,631 per year; and Benjamin Comfort as varsity girls’ soccer coach, stipend of $4,500. They also accepted a letter of resignation from Mary Engel as grade level leader.

The board agreed to the following:

— Renewal of the purchase of group life insurance, accidental death and dismemberment and long term disability insurance from CM Regent Solutions with no change in rates for July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2023.

— The food service budget for the upcoming school year. Breakfast and lunch prices will remain the same.

— Paycheck distributions for employees for the 2021-22 fiscal year.

— A BLaST IU 17 and district Inter-Governmental Agreement for shared Special Education Service for the 2021-22 school year.

— An MOU between the district and the Jersey Shore Area Education Association for the 21st Century Learning Environment.

— Receipt of $7,040 from the First Community Foundation Partnership of Pennsylvania through EITC donations from Citizens & Northern Bank.

The board also discussed returning to in-person meetings in June.

The next board meeting will be at 7 p.m. May 24.

Board members present were: Craig Allen, David Becker, Harry Brungard, Patrice Doebler, Angela Grant, Wayne Kinley, Nancy Petrosky, Michelle Stemler and Mary Thomas.

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