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Weatherly Area board approves 1.1-mill tax increase

The Weatherly Area Board’s preliminary 2022-23 budget of $15,754,839 includes a 1.1-mill tax increase, estimated to cost about $41 per household. The budget is underfunded by $185,700 and will use the district’s fund balance money.

However, according to outgoing business manager Nick Bellucci, there are several sources of additional money that could narrow the underfunding, or better still, put money into the fund balance.

Board members voted unanimously to approve the budget at their May 11 meeting, and it is now posted online.

Among the key points of the new budget are more resources devoted to English as a second language programs, and a 3% pay increase for all employees not under a teacher or support staff contract.

The board was also unanimous in approving the hiring of Robert Kachurak, CPA, to become the district’s new business manager and board secretary. Kachurak has worked as business manager at the Hanover Area School District in Luzerne County. He is presently working as an accountant. He would start at Weatherly Area on May 31.

This was Bellucci’s last meeting. He finished his work on May 20. He thanked the board members and administrators, adding, “I enjoyed working here very much.” He started his new job as business manager of the Reading Muhlenburg Career & Technology Center on May 23.

Engineers from Quad3 have submitted proposals on how to solve the athletic field water problems. The board’s property and athletic committees agreed to meet together on June 1 ahead of the next WASB caucus meeting to discuss the Quad3 proposals.

The property committee notes that there has been no contact from paving contractor Umbriac about their return to complete the paving contract.

In other business, the board approved hiring Tiffany Huff to be the district’s full-time psychologist, beginning July 1. Brianna Romanchik was added as a substitute teacher, with hopes of her also returning for the fall. Agreements between district and the Carbon-Lehigh Intermediate Unit for technology pool legal services, and between the Carbon-Monroe-Pike Drug and Alcohol Commission were approved for 2022-2023.

After discussion, the board approved the district’s flexible instruction days only after the built-in calendar days are used up.

The Weatherly Summer Soccer League was approved to use the school fields from May to October.

As the meeting wrapped up, East Side Borough Mayor Eric Siglin spoke to the board about locations of school bus stops in his borough. He is working to get a safer stop than the one currently used on State Road (Route 940).