- Last Updated on Wednesday, 14 April 2010 17:49
- Published on Wednesday, 14 April 2010 17:49
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Funding restored for assistant middle school principal and 8 instructional aides
The Westmoreland supervisors and county school division representatives worked long and hard this Monday afternoon and the result of the combined effort generated applause from the large group of school division supporters who gathered for the April 12 Board of Supervisors meeting.
At the end of the lengthy deliberations, funding had been restored to prevent next year’s elimination of the county school division’s assistant middle school principal and eight instructional aides.
On Tuesday morning, numbers were still being tweaked. Westmoreland would raise the tax it levies on machinery and tools in order to support the additional assistance the new budget will provide to the county’s school division.
In addition to saving nine school division jobs, the adjustments allow the school division to continue its pre-kindergarten program whose proposed elimination generated wide-spread public outcry following the county school board’s reluctant adoption of the most austere ever budget on March 22. Funding for the division’s algebra readiness program has also been restored.
The new county budget’s bottom line was approximately $20.7 million. With the real estate tax rate set at 46 cents, the average tax bill will remain at last year’s level.
A public hearing has been scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday, April 23, in A.T. Johnson auditorium. Adoption will follow in the same location at 9 a.m. Saturday, May 1.
The new tax rates and budget will govern the fiscal year that begins July 1.
Throughout the long budget discussion the recurring subject was the dire economic condition. County Administrator Norm Risavi noted a sharp decline in everything from new home construction activity to earnings from the county’s sale of recyclable materials. Residents, he explained, are buying fewer new cars and home appliances.
The average Westmoreland County landowner’s property value appreciated 10.36 percent, according to the most recently compiled set of reassessment numbers. Values inside the Town of Colonial Beach rose only 3.75 percent.
More information on the proposed 2010-2011 Westmoreland County budget will be published in next week’s edition of The Journal.