CASD approves final budget
The final 2013-14 Catasauqua Area School District budget has been given split-vote approval by board members.
By a vote of 6-3, the budget was approved during a special school board meeting June 24.
Voting in opposition to the budget were board members Dawn Berrigan, Christine Naegel and Sally Reiss.
The approved, final budget amounts to $25,852,142 and includes a millage rate for Catasauqua residents of 16.31 or a .35-mill increase (2.1 percent) and 52.14 mills or a .67-mill increase (1.3 percen t) for North Catasauqua residents. The increases, district Superintendent Robert Spengler said, are due to new reassessment figures.
"They're both obviously less than a mill increase," said Spengler.
Reiss asked what the millage rates translate into, in terms of the citizens of Catasauqua and North Catasauqua.
School board Solicitor David Knerr said due to changes in real estate reassessments, it's hard to specifically gauge how Catasauqua, as a whole, may or may not be affected.
"It's very different for each household," responded Knerr.
Spengler agreed with Knerr, pointing to the high number of real estate reassessments in the past year.
"It's been a crazy year with the reassessments, to be honest with you," said Spengler.
Spengler noted the final budget reflects an increase of $9,000 in state funding over the amount calculated in the preliminary budget approved earlier. Spengler added, however, there are still unknown variables that may affect the budget, such as a new pension reform plan presented under Gov. Tom Corbett's administration.
Reiss also commented the district has 30 days from the date of passage to amend the budget.
"You can't change the tax rates, but you can change the budget," confirmed Knerr.
Spengler reminded the board the 2013-14 budget does not rely on a fund balance, as do some area school district budgets.
"It's important it is a balanced budget ... we're not using a fund balance," he said.
During the meeting, the board also unanimously approved the final 2013-14 cafeteria budget in the amount of $752,122.
The district's cafeteria budget, commented district business Manager Lois Reed, is self-sufficient and doing well financially.
"We [CASD] have one of the few cafeteria budgets running in the black," she said.