When: Elizabethtown Area School District school board meeting, May 12.
What happened: The average taxpayer in the district can expect to pay an additional $84 in property tax under the proposed 2020-21 budget totaling $66.3 million, which the board approved in an online meeting.
Taxes: The budget is less than 1% more than 2019-20 expenditures, but the property tax increase of 2.75% will generate just over $1 million to make up for revenue lost from the coronavirus pandemic and state shutdown. A tax rate of 17.5577 mills would mean the owner of a home assessed at $179,250 would pay about $3,147. The maximum tax increase allowed by the state is 3.3%.
Vote: The board voted 7-2 to approve the budget with members Karen Sweigart and Michael Martin voting no. It will be online at www.etownschools.org. The board will receive updates at its May 26 and June 9 meetings and vote on a final budget June 23.
Finance report: Dan Forry, director of finance and operations, said that while the district will save $725,000 from schools being closed, it projects losses from earned income taxes and real estate transfer taxes, totaling $1 million this year and $1.5 million next year. He said the district expects $383,000 from the federal coronavirus aid relief bill, although some of those funds might be distributed to nonpublic schools in the district.
Other action: The board approved a new contract with Transfinder for transportation software for school bus routing and GPS tracking on buses, with an initial cost of $12,900. It also approved a contract with Quality Assurance for required testing for the middle school renovation project. Forry said the cost, totaling $102,830, is part of the already-budgeted soft costs for the project.
Graduation: Superintendent Michele Balliet said a portion of the virtual graduation will be filmed at the Elizabethtown Fairgrounds, with the video to air at 7 p.m. June 2 on the district website. Balliet also said the high school will join other Lancaster-Lebanon League schools to honor spring-sport athletes by light the stadium scoreboard “2020” on May 20 for 20 minutes starting at 8:20 p.m. People are not permitted to enter the stadium but are urged to drive by to show support, she said.