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UASD updates proposed budget, no tax increase hopeful

Upper Adams School District (UASD) School Board provided a consensus for a zero percent tax increase Tuesday as the Fiscal Year 2023 preliminary budget moved closer to adoption.

Business Administrator Shelley Hobbs once again presented updates and finetunes to the preliminary budget previously prevented in April and May.

Since the proposed budget’s last presentation, projected local sources revenues have since risen to $16,963,118, considering Farmstead Homestead, Hobbes said.

The updates also include the transfer of the autism classroom from the Lincoln Intermediate Unit to the UASD.

Information from the state has still been quiet, she said.

Hobbes looked for the board’s recommendation to prepare the final budget with either a zero, 1.5 percent, or at a different tax increase.

Although a preliminary budget had been submitted with a 1.5 percent tax increase, the collective goal of the board has been a zero percent tax increase, Board President Tom Wilson.

Wilson noted the district has several notable large ticket items, such as computer leases, being paid through Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER) funds, which are expected to be depleted by 2023 or 2024. The district has been consciously using the “one time money for a recurring bill,” he said.

Agreeing with Wilson, School Board member Ron Ebbert considered the federal money a “gift card” that will not last forever and must be spent wisely.

Wilson said he was comfortable with a zero percent tax increase for this fiscal year due to the uncertainty that lay ahead. “When those ESSER funds run out, those bills don’t go away… the chances of having a zero percent tax increase next year are close to zero,” he said.

The board reached a consensus for the next stage of the budget, for its final approval, to contain a zero percent tax increase.

Noting the district has worked very hard not to incur frivolous or out of the ordinary bills with the funding, “We will have to deal with next year’s issues next year,” he said.

Wilson praised the efforts of the administration and welcomed board members to voice what changes they would like to see next year.

The board will next meet to vote for the final budget approval June 21.

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A.L. Grabenstein, reporter, is a graduate of Philadelphia's La Salle University with a B.A in Communication and has been a journalist since 2016. She has reported for the Gettysburg Times and the Times Herald in Norristown, PA. Grabenstein moved to Gettysburg from Montgomery County in 2019. She was born in San Antonio, TX., and previously lived in Virginia, and North Carolina. Grabenstein is actively involved in the borough of Gettysburg and loves giving voices to the local community.

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