When: Donegal School Board meeting, June 18.
What happened: Board members approved a $54.29 million budget for the 2020-21 school year along with a 2.5% property tax increase. The tax increase is less than expected due to factors such as an early budget with full funding from the state, federal CARES Act funding and reduced costs including agreements with administration and staff for pay freezes or concessions.
What it means: School board members expressed concern about raising taxes more than absolutely necessary while some in the community are facing difficult financial circumstances. The new millage rate will be 19.0866, representing an annual increase of approximately $75 for the average assessed home of $162,100.
Extension: The board voted to extend the base period in which to pay taxes without penalty until Dec. 31. The 10% penalty resumes January 2021.
Sports: With Lancaster County moving to green phase of COVID-19 reopening, the first of three phases of sports training will begin July 1. From July 1-15, outdoor conditioning only will take place. From July 16-31, teams can use equipment and conduct drills. Scrimmage style practices can begin Aug. 1. Athletes must have signed participation waivers on file, pass prescreening and provide their own water bottles and drinks during practices.
Next steps: Superintendent J. Michael Lausch requested the board convene a special meeting at 7 p.m. July 23 to review and approve the district’s required health and safety plan and the educational plans for the upcoming year.