The district may have to raise taxes to help pay off a bond issue for the high school project.
By HAROLD GWIN
VINDICATOR SHARON BUREAU
HERMITAGE, Pa. -- Hermitage school officials propose using $633,000 from their unreserved fund balance to help fund a $19,864,545 budget for 2001-2002.
The school board introduced the tentative spending plan in an 8-0 vote Monday with school director James Lumpp absent.
Dr. Louis Mastrian, superintendent, said the district also is looking at a 2.5-mill property tax increase to complete the financing needed for the budget.
He said 1.5 mills is needed to help pay for the last bond issue borrowed for the Hickory High School renovation and expansion project. The other mill would be used for operating expenses, he said.
The district is still working on the budget and hopes to eliminate at least part of the proposed tax increase, Mastrian said.
One mill generates about $74,000 in revenue and costs most taxpayers about $5 a year.
Increase anticipated: School directors had warned when they borrowed $5.15 million in December to complete the financing for the $24 million high school project that taxes would have to be raised to cover the debt.
Mastrian said the plan is to raise taxes 1.5 mills next year and in each of the following two years for a total of 4.5 mills to pay for the bond.
Hermitage has already increased property taxes by 11 mills over the past several years to help pay off two previous bond issues totaling $18 million for the project.
The current total millage is 128.25.
The proposed budget shows a $921,000 spending increase over this year with teacher salaries jumping about $360,000, operation and maintenance of plant rising by $240,000 (partially due to increased natural gas costs) and debt service rising by $120,000.
Other business: In other action, the board reappointed varsity football coach Phil Annarella for another year at a salary of $5,623 and Mike Bavola as athletic director at $5,750.
Steve Garay was named director of the marching band at $3,994, Tony Mastrian was named head cross country coach at $3,705, Diane Vermeire was named head girls tennis coach at $3,705 and Rob Bevilheimer was named head soccer coach at $3,201.
All of the coaching salaries are based on the current teacher contract which is being renegotiated for next year, so the amounts may change, school officials said.