CHARLEROI — The Charleroi School Board voted 9-0 to pass a 7-mill property tax increase and it approved the imposition of school real estate tax at 143 mills. The tax increase, which was passed at the board’s monthly meeting on Tuesday night, will go into effect on July 1.
Superintendent Ed Zelich stated that the board had to pass the tax increase to meet the rising costs of employee retirement and medical benefits for fiscal year 2016-17. He added that the district was facing a $281,000 budget shortfall for the 2015-16 year.
“The uncertainty of the state’s funding for education this year and the upcoming school year have created financial challenges not only for Charleroi, but for all school districts in the commonwealth,” he said.
Added Zelich: “The goal with the proposed 2016-17 budget is to provide long-term economic sustainability for the Charleroi Area learning community. We have a strong administrative team, a fiscally-disciplined school board, dedicated teachers and staff, and a very supportive Education Foundation. These assets have allowed us to minimize, not prevent, adverse impacts on student learning.”
According to the school board, the tax increase will generate $350,000 in new income under the terms of the $23 million final budget for 2016-17, which was also adopted during the meeting. This budget reflects an increase of $1,028,262 over the current spending plan, with some savings being realized from positions that will not be filled through attrition.
In other action, the board voted to approve:
n A 2016-17 CCL Technologies Agreement, at a monthly rate of $1,465.
n Worker’s Compensation General Liability, School Leaders and Umbrella Insurance for 2016-17.
n The Spitz Inc. 2016-17 System Protection Plan Agreement, in the amount of $6,440 and a rate of $975 per service visit.
Also during the meeting, Zelich announced that an unnamed Charleroi businessman donated $7,000 for the cost of a cougar statue that will be unveiled during Charleroi High School’s first home football game Sept. 2. During that game, the football stadium will be renamed Pottios Stadium, in honor of Myron Pottios, a 1957 graduate of Charleroi High School who went on to play for the National Football League.