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CB council proposes to cut school funding by $149,354

With the June 30 deadline for a new budget quickly approaching, Town Council released its proposed budget for 2011-2012 at a public hearing on Wednesday night. 

According to the budget, general fund revenue projections are down by $149,477.  The highest decreases in revenue are expected in real estate taxes, personal property taxes, business license taxes, and revenue from use of property.  The only revenue categories showing an expected increase are local sales and use taxes and transfers in. 

The largest decrease in funding is the school transfer category, with a

proposed decrease of $149,354. 

The School Board had requested $1,757,850, which was the amount funded in 2010-2011.  Additionally, the board asked council to separately fund $77,900.00 for raises.

Increases in funding are set for the office of Public Works Director, the Police Department, and the office of Town Manager in the amounts of $48,534, $42,473 and $27,623, respectively. 

Twenty-two emotionally charged citizens spoke out against the decrease in school funding. 

Westmoreland County Supervisor Larry Roberson spoke last saying “The county approved an $8 million transfer to county schools,” which is $2 million more than the required local effort. 

Roberson further told council “You are only paying about $500,000,” referring to an agreement between the county and the town that allows the town to keep $1,078,859 in taxes that, if not for the school system, would be turned over to the county. 

Roberson asked council “Would you want to build a house that meets bare minimum requirements?  Why would you want a school system like that?”

Read more in the June 29 edition of The Journal.

— Kathy Flanagan

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