May 22, 2017 Budget Update:At the May 22 School Board meeting, the Board voted unanimously on a $95,816,075 million budget with no millage increase. The budget was balanced due to significant cost savings in the following ways:
- The District structured contracts for lower cost utilities bringing the budget in this area to its lowest level in recent years.
- The District bid out the transportation contract and found significant savings through a change in providers
- The District took advantage of restructuring the first high school bonds bringing total savings to the community of $7.6 million. Using $900,000 of these savings, the Board was able to eliminate the need for a tax increase.
In addition to using the savings from the bond to lower budgets over the next four years, there will now be an additional $3.8 million to fund capital projects over the next few years. School Board President Mary Birks said, “This is an enormous win for our community and I am proud to be part of the team that made this budget and the bond savings possible for our community. This budget preserves the programs which this community expects and our children deserve. ”
Final General Fund Budget 2017-2018
April 18, 2017 Budget Update: At the April 18, 2017 Regular Meeting, the School Board unanimously approved the 2017-2018 Proposed Budget in the amount of $96,566,075 with a millage rate of 23.93 mills, reflecting a zero mill increase for the community. Dr. Steinhauer stated, “With a careful and thoughtful budgeting process that included some significant reductions combined with a significant savings from the refinancing of some high school construction bonds, the District was able to balance the budget without a millage increase.”
Earlier in the meeting, the School Board took action to approve a bond issue to refinance the 2009 Series A General Obligation Bonds which recorded savings of $7 million to the community. The savings will allow for reductions of debt service over the next four years plus funds for capital projects of almost $4 million.
This was an exceptionally good outcome for the community as many refinancings are done to obtain savings of 2% of the bond amount. This refinancing brought savings of 13.1%. The District’s strong financial position, buoyed by Moody's Investors Service assigning an Aa1 rating before the bond sale (Mt. Lebanon is one of only two districts in Western PA with a rating that high) resulted in the positive outcome. The magnitude of the savings enabled the Board to consider and approve a Proposed Budget with no millage increase. These financial actions concluded a positive evening for our residents.
The School Board will take action on the final 2017-2018 budget on May 22. A summary of the $96.6 million budget and the bond refinancing savings chart are available below.
2017-2018 Budget Summary (3/13/2017)
2017-2018 General Fund Budget Summary (12/6/2016)