When: Manheim Central School Board Meeting, June 20.
What happened: The board passed the 2022-23 budget of $64.74 million with a 3.4% tax increase, the highest amount allowed by the state without asking for an exception.
What this means: The budget foresees a deficit of $439,180 which will be compensated by drawing on the reserves of the district. A 3.4% tax hike would increase taxes by $101 per year for a homeowner with a median assessment of $196,800, from $2,972 to $3,073.
Current year: Chief Financial Officer Bryan Howett said that while a deficit of $235,447 was projected in this year’s budget, a surplus of $789,426 is now projected. The surplus is the result of an increase in the amount of earned income tax and real estate transfer tax received by the district as well as federal COVID-19 relief funding.
High school renovation: Jeff Straub of Crabtree Rohrbaugh Associates provided an update on the high school’s multi-year, $55 million renovation project. He said the roofing is expected to be completed next month, which will allow the final finishes of the first phase to be completed. The temporary offices will be completed this summer, and the north end of the gymnasium will be completed in December or January.
Supply chain shortage: Straub said the biggest hurdle currently facing the project is a nine-month delay in main electrical service equipment. The delay is due to global electrical parts supply shortages. To move the project forward, electrical service may be temporarily rerouted until new equipment arrives. He said that although this will increase the cost of the project, it can be absorbed in the contingency amount that has been built into the contract. To take into account the delay of the electrical equipment, the second phase will be divided into two sub-phases. This will allow the school to continue to operate and the project to meet the deadline.
Sports field: Mark Shrift of Johnson, Mirmiran & Thompson Architecture presented some concept drawings of possible upgrades to three baseball/softball fields. Two of the fields are adjacent to the college along Stiegel Valley Road and are known as Baron Fields. The other field is at Doe Run Elementary. The Baron Fields concept includes the addition of a synthetic turf football/hockey facility with lights, stadium seating and a press box. A lighted synthetic turf field will replace the existing varsity baseball field, and a multipurpose field will be embedded in the outfield. The whole installation will be fenced. At Doe Run, two softball fields will be built, as well as a lighted parking lot. A college softball field will be fenced and lighted. The junior varsity field, intended for use by the youth league, will be fenced, but unlit. Both fields will have canoes and announcers’ stands. A bullpen and batting cages will also be built on site. Three rectangular grass fields will remain.
The cost: The estimated cost of the potential Baron Fields project is $4.6-5 million, while the estimated cost of the potential Doe Run project would be $3.2-3.6 million. Board chairman Mike Clair said nothing has been approved and the project is still in the design phase.
Security agent: The council has approved the hiring of a security officer to serve throughout the district. The Security Officer will be in addition to the School Resource Officer and will be an employee of Manheim Central. When contacted after the meeting, Howett said the school safety officer would strengthen the district’s safety team and help provide a safe and secure school environment while building trust with learners and district staff members.
Next meeting: The Board approved the cancellation of the July 11 and July 25 meetings previously scheduled. The next meeting will be at 7 p.m. on August 8 at the District Office, 281 White Oak Road, Manheim.