Budget may be fixed

| 29 Sep 2011 | 08:43

    WESTFALL - A May 23 meeting of the finance committee may have avoided a late budget for Delaware Valley schools. Board member Ed Silverstone said Wednesday that a combination of upwardly revised revenue expectations and spending cuts produced a compromise budget with a 4.99 percent tax increase. Last week the board was faced with the prospect of beginning the lengthy budget process again if the tentative budget, with its 6.33 percent tax increase was rejected. Lacking the time to prepare and advertise before the end of the district’s fiscal year, the divided board, by a 5-4 vote, approved with a proviso that additonal finance committee meetings would hammer out the differences. Silverstone said the compromise was reached with an agreement that funding for a $720,000 roof repair project be added to a bond-borrowing measure that would also fund improvements to the troubled water supply system at the Dingman Delaware campus and funding for an expected land purchase for the district’s expansion program. Bonding would allow a $290,000 reduction in the new spending for the budget’s capital reserve fund. That will be combined with $75,000 saved in agreeing to delay implementation of a partial hospitalization program for special education students. The board earlier this month approved increased revenue anticipation, including $100,000 each in Real Estate Transfer Tax and federal Growth Impact funding, and $50,000 in anticipated delinquent tax collections. Silverstone said the board agreed to take a final vote on the new proposal at a special 7:30 p.m., June 20 meeting. “I don’t expect that there will be any fireworks at that point,” he added. Finalized, the reduction would lower this year’s tax bill increase on a $100,000 home by about one third.