School board sets proposed budget

Directors of the Unionville-Chadds Ford School Board Monday night voted on a proposed final budget for the next school year. The budget calls for $90.2 million in spending with Chester County property owners paying less in taxes, but their counterparts in Delaware County will have an increase. The vote came during the board's May work session, conducted via Zoom.

The full spending figure is $90,238,250, while projected revenue from local, state and federal sources total $89,797,465.

Money coming from the state is estimated to be $16,127,054, with another $626,437 from the federal government. Revenue from local sources is $73,043,974. The proposed final budget includes using $440,000 from the district's unassigned fund balance and there is also a freeze on salaries as well as a 5 percent across the board cut in spending from the current budget.

The property tax rate for the district's Chester County municipalities, if approved, will be 29.07 mils, while the rate for Chadds Ford Township property owners would be 25.99 mils. The Chester County rate is a decrease of 0.31 percent from the 2019-2020 rate. However, the Chadds Ford rate is 1.09 percent higher than last year. Overall, the weighted average is a decrease of 0.02 percent.

(A mil is a tax of $1 for every $1,000 of assessed property value. The tax rate difference is due to how the two counties assess properties.)

Board members will vote on the final budget during their June 15 meeting.

Other business

The district will be paying a little bit more for a pedestrian crosswalk and traffic calming measures on Route 82 in front of the middle and senior high schools.

Bids for the proposed work — which were opened in April — came in $134,000 more than what was covered in a grant. There were three bids, all within $50,000 of the others. The Delaware Valley Region Planning Commission, the grantor of the grant money, has agreed to pay for half of the overage, but the reminder — another $67,000 — will be split between the school district and East Marlborough Township.

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About Rich Schwartzman

Rich Schwartzman has been reporting on events in the greater Chadds Ford area since September 2001 when he became the founding editor of The Chadds Ford Post. In April 2009 he became managing editor of ChaddsFordLive. He is also an award-winning photographer.

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