Hearing tonight on school budget increase

WEST MILFORD. The Board of Education gives preliminary approval for adding almost $1.2 million to the 2024-25 budget and boosting taxes by $1 million more.

| 16 Jul 2024 | 12:26

The West Milford Board of Education will hold a public hearing on proposed changes to the 2024-25 budget at its meeting Tuesday, July 16.

The meeting will be at 7 p.m. in the auditorium of Macopin Middle School, 70 Highlander Drive.

A new state law signed May 14 permits school districts affected by cuts in state aid in recent years to raise taxes more than usually allowed one time.

At the board’s special meeting June 27, the board voted 5-1 to approved the changes on a preliminary basis after the district’s business administrator, William Scholts, explained them.

Board member Teresa Dwyer voted no. Board members Tara Racano, Miranda Jurgensen and Stephanie Marquard were absent from the meeting.

Under the plan, the budget would grow by almost $1.2 million to a total of about $78 million. The local tax levy would rise by about $1 million to about $65.3 million.

On April 30, the board approved a budget of about $77 million with a local tax levy of about $64.7 million, a 3.27 percent increase from a year earlier.

With the additional tax increase, the owner of an average home in West Milford, assessed at $243,300, would pay $277.56 more in school taxes than a year earlier. That is $89.85 more than the $187.71 increase in the budget adopted April 30.

The additional funds would be used primarily for non-personnel expenses so they would not recur every year, Scholts said.

Of the additional funds, $250,000 would be used to replace the middle school math program, $200,000 would go into the capital reserve account, $150,710 would be used for the Encore program to replace reduced federal funds, $113,189 would be used to add to the maintenance/groundskeeping staff, and $100,000 would be used to replace maintenance vehicles.

The school board also will hold a special meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday, July 9 in the Macopin School cafeteria. The board will discuss its goals for the 2024-25 school year.