Wilson Area School Board proposes 1.6% tax increase

Author: , WFMZ.com Reporter, news@wfmz.com
Published: Jan 21 2013 11:29:38 PM EST

Citing a combination of stagnant state aid, pension cost increases and decline in local revenues, the Wilson Area School Board is proposing a 1.6% property tax increase under the preliminary 2013-14 district budget.

The $35.5 million preliminary budget was unanimously approved by the board Monday night. The preliminary spending plan, which represents a $1 million increase over the 2012-13 budget, calls for a property tax increase of .8 mills. The proposed .8 mill increase to 51.2 mills represents a tax increase of $40 on each $50,000 of assessed property value.

Superintendent Doug Wagner said he anticipates these preliminary figures to change before the budget is formally adopted in June. Wagner said he is confident the proposed tax increase will be lessened before the final budget adoption, especially if the state government decides to increase aid to the district.

Wagner said the proposed tax increase is being driven in large part by state aid remaining level in recent years and local revenues dropping, despite continual cost increases, especially in pension and healthcare obligations. In just the last year, local revenues have been dramatically impacted by a $131,000 loss from property assessment appeals, Wagner noted.

“It is becoming a more difficult challenge to sustain the quality of our education in a fiscally responsible way due to the economic times,” Wagner said in a presentation to the board.

Despite these financial challenges, Wagner said the preliminary budget supports six priorities “to maintain the resources that ensure our district continues to be successful”:

-- Maintaining current curricular and co-curricular programming.
-- Maintaining all current staff members, except for not filling the position of an outgoing elementary classroom teacher.
-- Supporting the successful updating of academic content for high school English, math and foreign languages and intermediate school social studies.
-- Ensuring the appropriate placement for all students.
-- Sustaining acceptable class sizes in all grade levels.
-- Developing a budget residents are able to financially support.


In other business Monday night, the Wilson board signed off on the Career Institute of Technology’s $8.1 million budget for 2013-14.

Wilson’s share to the vocational-technical institute is increasing by about $14,000 to $879,000. Officials said this increase is due to Wilson’s enrollment increasing a higher rate than the four other districts being served by CIT.

CIT Administrative Director Ronald R. Roth said the projected costs to the five districts are actually less than the increases in the overall operating budget. This is due, he said, to expected increases in subsidies and other revenues.

Like the Wilson district, Roth said CIT is facing substantial increases in benefit costs, which are going up by 8.2%. The most significant benefit cost increases are for pensions and workman’s compensation, Roth stated.


Monday’s Wilson board meeting included formal recognition of two school-based volunteer programs.

The Wilson Borough Elementary School Mileage Club was honored as the district’s Volunteers of the Month. Through this program, which strives to make children more physically active, about 130 students participated in after-school walking. Students logged more than 2,000 miles during the fall. The club is currently not active; officials are hoping to restart the effort in the spring.

The Wilson Area Intermediate School’s "Restore the Shore" project was recognized for collecting and distributing thousands of non-perishable food items and other needed supplies to victims of Hurricane Sandy in Tom’s River, New Jersey.

Students collected, boxed and delivered the items to Tom’s River in December.

Wilson Area Intermediate School Principal Anthony Tarsi said of the project: “The goal is for students to see the world is bigger than themselves and to look outside themselves to help others.”

The Wilson Area School Board’s next regular meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 4.


Legal issues to keep Peterson off the field

Running back indicted on felony child abuse charges

Author: By Ed Payne CNN
Published: Sep 17 2014 02:16:41 AM EDT   Updated:  2 HR. AGO
Adrian Peterson

Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

(CNN) -

Running back Adrian Peterson will not play for the Minnesota Vikings until his legal issues are resolved, the team said early Wednesday.

It's a reversal of course for the Vikings. The team had earlier said that Peterson, who is facing a child abuse charge, would practice this week and could play in Sunday's game against the New Orleans Saints.

In a statement early Wednesday, the team said Peterson has been placed on the NFL's Exempt/Commissioner's Permission list, which will require him to "remain away from all team activities."

"While we were trying to make a balanced decision (Monday), after further reflection we have concluded that this resolution is best for the Vikings and for Adrian," said a statement from owners Zygi and Mark Wilf. "We want to be clear: we have a strong stance regarding the protection and welfare of children, and we want to be sure we get this right."

Peterson is considered one of the best running backs in the NFL -- if not the best. His absence was probably felt during the Vikings' 30-7 loss to the Patriots last Sunday.

In 2011, he agreed to a lucrative contract, which NFL.com reported would be worth $100 million over a 7-year period.

Turn for the worse

But his fortunes have taken a turn for the worse since his indictment last week on a felony charge of causing bodily injury to his son.

On Tuesday, he lost one of his most significant endorsement deals when Castrol, a major producer of motor oil, pulled out.

Castrol used Peterson in commercials for its Edge performance oil product and on social media. Many recent social media posts of his likeness had been pulled down, and the commercials were no longer available on YouTube. (His other major sponsor, Nike, said late last week it would stand by its athlete for the time being.)

One of the team's sponsors, the Radisson hotel chain, announced Monday night that it was suspending its "limited sponsorship of the Minnesota Vikings while we evaluate the facts and circumstances."

Also, the website for his All Day Foundation was taken off line after the charities represented on the site were getting "harassing" calls from gossip sites, his philanthropic adviser, Bruce Richmond, said.

"We took the website off line because the charities that Adrian supports were getting calls from the media and were getting harassed by the media," Richmond told CNN. "I spoke to one communication director saying she had received about a dozen calls today from the same gossip site."

Legal process

Following his indictment, Peterson turned himself in to East Texas authorities Saturday and was released on a $15,000 bond.

The next step is a preliminary court hearing on October 8.

According to Texas law, people can be convicted of injury to a child if they cause bodily or mental injury "intentionally, knowingly, recklessly or with criminal negligence" or cause such harm by omission. The crime is punishable by up to two years in a state jail and a $1,000 fine.

Authorities haven't divulged the details of what led to the charge. But Peterson's lawyer said the "charged conduct involves using a switch to spank his son" -- explaining that his client did so while doling out discipline "much like "he experienced as a child growing up in east Texas."

Rusty Hardin said "Adrian never intended to harm his son and deeply regrets the unintentional injury."

Peterson defended himself on Monday, saying he is "not a perfect parent, but I am, without a doubt, not a child abuser."

Other allegations

The developments came as CNN affilaite KHOU reported this week that Peterson allegedly abused another one of his children -- a 4-year-old son.

Sources told KHOU that the mother of the child filed a complaint with Child Protective Services in Texas because she alleged that Peterson beat the child, while visiting his father at his Houston-area home.

According to the report, text messages between Peterson and the boy's mother show that Peterson admitted disciplining the child, but he claims the child hit his head on the car seat in the process.

No charges were ever filed, according to KHOU.


On this Day

  • Civil War, Battle of Antietam painting

    Library of Congress

    On this day: September 17

    The U.S. Constitution is signed, the Civil War sees the bloodiest battle in American history, the prototype space shuttle Enterprise is unveiled, and the Camp David Accords bring peace between Egypt and Israel, all on this day.

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