Upper Adams passes school budget without tax increase

Upper Adams School Board unanimously approved the fiscal year 2024 budget Tuesday with three new educator positions and no tax increase.

Business Administrator Shelley Hobbs presented a final budget with expenses at $34,470,792 and revenue at $33,102,741. The majority of the $1.3 million difference will be covered by the district’s unassigned fund balance. Approximately $2.5 million will remain in the unassigned fund balance, according to Hobbs.

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The unassigned fund balance, akin to a rainy day fund, is there for unexpected expenses and can be used to help balance the budget.

Board member Chris Fee attended Tuesday’s meeting virtually.

Included in the budget are positions for an elementary special education professional, secondary math professional, and secondary building substitute for a total of $187,170.

The budget also allocated $20,000 for new band uniforms and nearly $12,000 for cyber insurance.

Also Tuesday, the board approved wage increases for certain staff that include a cost of living adjustment of 3.68%, plus merit increases. Thirty-two support staff, 10 building administrators and the business administrator will see raises for the 2023-2024 school year.

Support staff raises represent an increased cost of $48,872.79 over the 2022-2023 school year, according to the board’s meeting agenda. Building admin raises, which do not include the superintendent, represent an increased cost of $58,052.77 over the 2022-2023 school year. The business administrator will receive an additional $2,500 for increased duties as director of transportation.

In other business, the board accepted a bid of $198,375 from Heidler Roofing for the next phase of roof repairs to Biglerville High School. The work will be completed over the summer, according to school officials.

Renovations to the locker rooms and team rooms at Biglerville High School are delayed as the district seeks plumbing bids for the second time.

Representatives from RLPS Architects, who are overseeing the bid-seeking process, said Tuesday the district received bids for three out of four construction services needed for the project. Bids for general contractor, mechanical and electrical were received, but not plumbing.

RLPS representatives Rich Dropik and Ed Althouse, who called into the meeting, said they have been in communication with contractors and expect to receive plumbing bids the second time around. They did not know why contractors did not bid on plumbing in the first place.

The board stopped short of approving bids for general contractor, mechanical and electrical, but agreed to send a notice of intent to award bids to East Coast Contracting, Inc.; Frey Lutz Corporation; and Mid-State Mechanical and Electrical, LLC, respectively.

The vote for bid approval is expected to occur at a special board meeting July 11 at 6 p.m., when RLPS anticipates it will have at least one plumbing bid in hand. The renovation is projected to start July 17, pending board approval.

“I don’t have a problem with recommending approval of these,” Board Vice President Tom Wilson said. “But these three contractors need to understand this is not final approval for the project. It’s still contingent upon us receiving a compliant bid for the plumbing work, which meets the technical specifications as well as the overall fiscal constraints that we have for this project.”

The board will have its regular meeting July 18 at 7 p.m. There are no scheduled committee meetings in July.

MG Kauffman 1

Mary Grace Kauffman, freelance reporter, worked six years as a full-time reporter for newspapers in Pennsylvania and Maryland. She has covered topics including business, crime, education, government and features. Mary Grace has a bachelor's degree in communication/journalism from Shippensburg University. She resides in Adams County.

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Jim Meyer
Jim Meyer
11 months ago

I am happy that they have NOT raised tax’s again

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