B-A passes budget

BELLWOOD – It took four votes, but Bellwood-Antis School Board members Tuesday approved a 2014-15 budget that calls for a 4.95 mill increase in real estate taxes.

The increase, which marks the ninth tax increase for Bellwood-Antis residents in the past 10 years, takes millage from 98.71 mills to 103.66 mills and will cost the average property owner an additional $57.10 a year.

Board members voted 6-1 to pass the budget – Chris McCartney cast the lone negative vote, and Lisa Kovac and Donna Tyler were absent – after voting down increases of 6.31 mills, which was recommended by business manager/board secretary Kimberly VanGorder and Superintendent Brian Toth, 3.95 mills and 4.9 mills.

That brought a warning from Solicitor David Andrews.

“You must pass a budget by June 30, or you shut down,” Andrews said, fearing board members would not willingly compromise.

Then board member Robert Fisher suggested compromising at 4.9 mills, but Andrews recommended he slightly change the number so Fisher said 4.95 mills.