Board agrees on budget

By ROBERT LINNEHAN | The Haddonfield Sun
After proposing five amendments to the tentative 2010–2011 school district budget, Board of Education members came to a consensus on the budget they will be presenting to borough taxpayers this April.
At a calm public hearing, about 100 members of the public listened as the board approved a $31.6 million budget with a 3.25 percent tax hike — an increase of $219 for the average assessed home of $491,359.
The Board was able to come to a unanimous decision after a tentative budget was more contentious earlier in the week. The tentative budget was approved by a vote of 5-to-4 and featured a 4 percent tax increase. It also featured a dramatic increase to the student activity fees, which was a main point of debate with several board members.
This form of the budget features a $25 increase to the student activity fee, with the caveat that a committee will form and meet to discuss possibly raising the fee at a later date.
The Board was ultimately able to decrease the tax rate and the activity fee by inserting $75,000 of surplus funding into the budget and through a state mandate that all public employees will have to pay 1.5 percent of their salary into their health benefits. Board member Joe Ehrhardt said this mandate will save the district about $225,000.
See this week’s print edition of The Sun for the full story.