South Fayette adopts a preliminary budget
School directors in South Fayette voted 6-0 to adopt a $43,373,013 preliminary expense budget with a millage rate of 24.6361 for the 2013-14 school year. The preliminary revenue budget is at $40,911,142. School directors Teresa Burroughs, William Newcomer and William Sray were absent from the meeting.
Last year’s expense budget was $37,564,812 with a millage rate of 28.8 mills. This year’s preliminary millage rate of 24.6361 is adjusted because the school district cannot take a windfall from this year’s assessment increases. District Director of Finance Brian Tony said the district is limited to the 2012 index of 2.1 percent and that the adjusted millage rate without taking it to the index and without any exceptions would be 23.8311 mills. However, the board voted to increase revenues by the 2.1 percent index, or 0.500 mills and voted to apply for the Public School Employees’ Retirement System Contribution (PSERS) exception, which would allow millage to be increased by another 0.3050 mills. Tony said the district did not qualify for special education exceptions as it had last year.
Tony also said at the Feb. 19 meeting that the budget will continue to change.
“It’s just a placeholder. We know it can continually change,” he said. By state law, the district has to submit its preliminary budget to the Department of Education by Feb. 24. By Feb. 28, the district also has to publicize a notice of intent to file for referendum exceptions.
The board voted unanimously to purchase the furniture for the new Intermediate School at a cost of $594,503. Superintendent Dr. Bille Rondinelli said that the district had budgeted $800,000 for the furniture. The board also voted in favor of an $1,800 change order for darker paint colors in the new school’s three STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) room.
The board discussed other change orders for the STEAM rooms. One option for the STEAM rooms is to have laser-cut flooring installed at a total cost of about $28,000 for all three rooms. Another option is to have random colored floor tiles installed, which would be a cost of $7,600 total. The board is expected to make a decision on the floor at its Feb. 26 meeting.
Also at the Feb. 19 meeting, the board approved a $7,601 change order for the installation of magnetic door hold-opens in the new school, which are a fire safety measure.