Southern Regional 2017-18 Budget Gains Approval By Board of Education

May 10, 2017

With a measly $72,078 increase to its budget from the previous school year, the Southern Regional Board of Education on May 3 unanimously approved the 2017-18 budget. Next year’s school budget maintains all programs and services as this year’s budget, according to District Business Administrator Steve Terhune.

“We have no debt remaining from the construction of the 11/12 building,” Terhune said during his public presentation of the previously adopted budget, which gained approval by the Ocean County Superintendent of Schools and the New Jersey Department of Education. “The only thing we had to do, after we adopted the tentative budget, was to amend the budget to reflect repayment of the loan New Jersey required us to take after (Superstorm) Sandy. We took only the minimum amount we were required to take, and we’ll repay that as quickly as possible.”

Following Sandy, the state required school districts affected by the storm to take a Community Disaster Loan. Terhune explained that if a district simply qualified for one of the loans, it had to take it – regardless of whether it planned to utilize any of the funds. Southern Regional took the lowest loan available, for $495,000. Terhune told the board the plan was to pay back the loan by the 2018-19 school year.

“The state said we qualified and we had to take it, so we took it,” Terhune said during an interview after the public meeting. “We didn’t do much with it. But it was there if we needed it for something.”

Southern’s budget reflects an increase of .0012 percent from this year. The anticipated expenditures total $58,445,514. The 2016-17 budget expenditures totaled $58,373,436. Of course, the effect to each town within the district regarding taxation varies. Terhune said the tax rates are determined by the county and based mostly on the fluctuation of ratables within each town. In some towns, the rate has gone up since last year, while in others it has gone down, according to figures acquired from the county.

For Beach Haven, the 2017-18 tax rate is 26.82 cents per $100 of assessed value, down from this year’s 30.1-cent rate. For Barnegat Light, next year’s rate is 20.31 cents per $100 of assessed value, up from this year’s 18.3-cent rate. In Harvey Cedars, the rate has decreased from 27.8 cents to 23.64 cents per $100 of assessed value.

For Long Beach Township, the rate is down slightly, from 26.5 cents to 26.31 cents, while Ship Bottom’s rate has increased from 21.8 cents to 23.94 cents, and Surf City’s rate has gone up from 25.5 cents to 26.53 cents. Within Stafford Township, next year’s rate is 24.2 cents, up slightly from this year’s 23.6-cent rate.

To see a user-friendly budget for the 2017-18 school year, visit srsd.net/Board/budgetInfo.aspx.

David Biggy

biggy@thesandpaper.net

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