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Berlin Borough School District approves 2017–2018 budget

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For a Berlin Borough homeowner with an average assessed home value at $233,700, the annual tax bill will decrease approximately $54.63 from last year.

The Berlin Borough School District passed its 2017–2018 budget at its April 27 meeting.

For a Berlin Borough homeowner with an average assessed home valued at $233,700, the annual tax bill will decrease approximately $54.63 from last year.

This decrease comes in light of news the district will cut its wrestling and cheerleading programs, and that staffing levels will drop slightly from last year.

The district reduced one media specialist position, as well as part-time technology support. In addition, it will not fill a position left vacant by an elementary school teacher who will retire.

“Unfortunately, we’re at a critical time and we need to produce a balanced budget, and we had to make some difficult decisions,” Superintendent Kristen Martello said. “Still, we are continuing to seek ways to be able to provide support and make sure students have everything they need to be educated.”

Average costs went down due to the school district repaying a long-standing construction loan. The district will be paying off a $438,384 loan it has owed since 1998. Martello said the money was required to go toward tax relief rather than putting it toward the school.

The local tax levy totals $7,133,340, an increase from $6,938,012 last year. The budget totals $12,291,007.

The amount of the budget that was provided by state aid held level from last year at $3,701,976. This accounts for approximately 30 percent of the budget. Martello cited this as a key factor about why the district had to make cuts.

The general fund takes up $11,066,399 of the budget, and includes costs for daily operations and staff salaries. Capital expenditures will be used to maintain the infrastructure and update the servers on the district’s computers. Capital expenditures take up $53,630 of the general fund.

Debt service funds, which are used to pay off existing bonds, total $783,322.



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