The 2018-2019 budget for Wallenpaupack Area School District was passed June 18, with a slight upward revision in the expected tax increase.

WALLENPAUPACK - The 2018-2019 budget for Wallenpaupack Area School District was passed June 18, with a slight upward revision in the expected tax increase.

Due to a decrease in the real estate assessments in Wayne and Pike counties, Superintendent Michael Silsby said at the board meeting that the tax rates had to be recalculated from what was proposed in May.

“The assessed values dropped; usually we like to see assessed values grow and give us some additional revenues,” he said. Pike County dropped by $270,121 and Wayne County dropped by $241,300.

Pike County’s tax rate percentage increase was adjusted from 2.63% to 2.67%. The newly adopted rate is 15.0660 mills. The average increase comes to $1.95.

Wayne County’s tax rate percentage increase was adjusted from 2.04% to 2.29%. The newly adopted rate is 74.0072 mills. The average increase comes to $1.18.

“It’s minor changes, minor numbers and minor impacts but the bottom line we had to change the budget to reflect the new assessed values,” he told the board.

The tax rates in each county are so different because of the different way real estate values are assessed in each county. An equalization formula is used to balance them, so that tax milage brings in similar revenue in each county.

The 2018-2019 budget totals $73,752,245 in expenditures and $73,158,402 in revenue. The fund balance support is $593,843.

Atlantic Avenue

Installation of a sidewalk along Atlantic Avenue from the Turkey Hill market property to the school complex might be delayed to the summer of 2019, Silsby announced.

The district’s engineer, Kiley Associates, found that a number of culverts under Atlantic Avenue were blocked and created a drainage problem. Kiley had been working with a company, Koberlein, to unblock the pipes. Some of the culverts, however, are not completely unblocked, and Silsby said that he was not comfortable with soliciting bids for the project until they are completely unplugged.

A delay also occurred, and by this time contractors may be lined up for the season and not offer completive bids.

The district received a $243,000 state grant to lay the sidewalk and do draining work, and has till 2020 to spend it. The district has the responsibility to maintain Atlantic Avenue, and the sidewalk is viewed as a need to address safety.

School board change

Robert Schwartz announced his resignation from the school board due to his relocation to Honesdale. School Board Superintendent John Spall thanked Schwartz for his dedication and excellent service to the district, including his primary concern for the students.

In turn, the school board unanimously appointed Genevieve Logan Reese to the board to fill the vacancy. Reese is general manager and president of The French Manor in South Sterling.

For more information on the school board meeting agenda visit www.wallenpaupack.org. Under Board of Education, select “Board Docs.”

 The next WASD school board meeting is set for Monday, August 20 at 6 p.m. in the High School Library. A committee meeting precedes it at 5:30 p.m.