Crestwood School Board’s Preliminary Budget Reflects 3.2% Tax Hike

The Crestwood School Board adopted its preliminary 2018-19 budget, which reflects a 3.2 percent tax hike, but stressed that the numbers are constantly shifting and the final budget, due June 30, could look much different.

The preliminary school operating budget for next year will be $39,882,189 with a tax rate of 10.1632 mills. A mill is $1 for every $1,000 in property assessment. This budget shows revenues at $37.7 million and, with spending at $39.9 million, a difference of $2.2 million.

Business Manager Al Melone explained that the district is applying for an exception with the state, showing $450,000 in special education costs. This could allow a tax increase of up to 5.63 percent, he said, noting a few times that board is trying to “keep the options open.” Melone continued, “I wouldn’t get too concerned by this…We’ll work on this month by month and refine the numbers as more information comes in.”

A parent also questioned the board’s spending, at the Feb. 13 meeting, pointing out areas at Fairview Elementary that need repair. Superintendent Joseph Gorham responded that the district shares these concerns and is at the critical point of deciding when to make repairs on old buildings and when to start over, possibly by building new facilities.

Kelly Van den Berg began by questioning an item on the agenda for spending $15,375 on HVAC (heating, ventilation, air conditioning) services. She asked if that money will