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Central York school board agrees on tax increase amid policing discussion

Meredith Willse
York Dispatch

The Central York School Board settled on a compromise to raise taxes by 2.25% and adopt the final budget for the upcoming school year.  

Board members decided in a May meeting to raise the taxes from the proposed 2% to add another school resource officer to the $101 million budget. To support the additional position, the board compromised on raising it to 2.25%.

The tax increase would mean that a property assessed at $250,000 would pay $5,198 in annual taxes to the district. That's an increase from the $5,083 the same property owner paid under the previous budget.

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School officials met with Springettsbury Township officials at the end of May to discuss the school resource officer position, which the township previously denied.

The township manager said the board of supervisors approved it during their June 23 meeting. The school board now will discuss the position again in a July meeting. 

If approved in July, the police will have an officer in place for the first day of school. 

This position will be filled by an experienced police officer already on staff and that officer's position will be backfilled. 

The officer position will run through the 2025-26 school year. After that, the township and school district will review the position. 

“I know we have discussed this for probably 10-plus hours,” board president Kyle King said before opening the budget topic for discussion.  

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Board member Amy Milsten said she was going to vote yes, but this was a compromise on her end because she doesn’t believe the budget satisfies everything. She said there is a strong need for certain positions such as needs in nursing, counselors and mental health support.  

“We are bleeding support staff and lots of open positions because of … the pay at those positions,” she said.  

Previously calling this a "shoestring budget," Milsten would prefer the budget to have more wiggle room so more money was available for the services she thinks are important.  

Board Vice President Jodi Grothe added she was voting yes, but she isn’t happy about voting to increase taxes.  

“I do feel this is remnants of the previous administration that we’ve had to deal with this budget,” she said, explaining she will continue to push for a conservative budget and make necessary cuts.  

Board member Tim Strickler said the budget created a “robust discussion” among board members, which it should do.  

Board member Wendy Crane also said she will be voting yes, but she and board member Danielle Allison both agreed they didn’t want to raise taxes.  

Allison said it is painful making cuts. She is cutting subscriptions because of gas pricing now.  

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Board Treasurer Vicki Gruth is aware residents are hurting from the inflation — but so are the schools. 

"The same things we do are now more expensive and so we have to find that balance where we’re not overburdening the taxpayer but at the same time … everything is being covered,” Gruth said.  

All board members voted to adopt the budget.

The next school board meeting is 6:30 p.m. July 18 at 775 Marion Road. Residents can attend in person or online on YouTube at www.youtube.com/channel/UCWkB16bFmoScfZyxCVIuXhQ.

— Reach Meredith Willse at mwillse@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @MeredithWillse.