The Donegal school board voted to hire another school resource officer and presented a preliminary budget for the public to review.
The motion to hire a second school resource officer – a police officer assigned to work in schools – passed by a vote of 7 to 2. It came after the current SRO, Scott Nye, gave a presentation to the board detailing his duties at Donegal schools.
Over the past school year, Nye said he worked at the high school and the primary school on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. On the other days, he spent his time at the junior high and intermediate schools.
Nye said he wears his uniform to the schools and performs a wide variety of services such as enhancing safety, responding to students conflicts and problems, along with resolving teacher and student issues. He said he also investigates crimes, makes arrests if needed, works with probation and parole officers, is involved in fire and intruder drills and provides security at athletic events.
Nye said he is a guest speaker in classrooms, where he discusses topics such as social media, texting, sexting, motor vehicle laws, domestic violence, bullying and drugs and alcohol.
He said he teaches students how to avoid becoming victims and works with students going down the wrong path to try to turn their lives around.
The newly approved decision to hire an additional SRO will need to be figured into the preliminary general fund budget for the 2018-2019 school year, which was presented to the board by Michelle Kendig, director of business services.
“This one is a little different from last month, where we showed almost a $500,000 deficit. It’s now showing just under a $1,500 deficit. However, this budget does include a 1.13 percent tax increase,” Kendig said.
The total proposed budget is $51,265,907.
Kendig said the changes from April’s preliminary budget included an increase of $87,235 in expenditures, and an increase in revenues of $66,675.
The proposed 1.13 percent real estate tax increase would generate $315,169 in revenue, showing a nearly-balanced budget with a deficit of $1,476, Kendig said.
Kendig said the millage rate for the reassessed property values would decrease from 22.879 in 2017-2018 to 17.988 mills for 2018-2019 — a decrease of 4.891 mills.
With a 1.13 percent tax hike, millage would increase to 18.1910 mills.
Kendig said the countywide reassessment needs to be revenue neutral. However, it is not neutral to individual properties.
For example, an East Donegal Township home assessment, which increased 25.95 percent, raised a home’s value to $162,980. That taxpayer would pay $2,965 with the tax increase, or about $5 more than last year, Kendig said.
At the next monthly meeting, board members will vote on the equalized millage rate and any tax increase and its new millage for 2018-2019.
The next meeting of the Donegal school board will be held at 7 p.m. on Thursday, June 14, at the Donegal Primary School, at 1055 Koser Road, Mount Joy.