MOUNT CARMEL - The Mount Carmel Area School Board passed the district's 2014-15 fiscal year budget Monday night by a narrow margin.

The board voted 5-4 to approve the $17,490,924.73 budget.

The motion to pass the budget was made by Joseph Zanella and seconded by Michael Brinkash.

Michael Rovito, William Brecker, Donna James all voted "no" on the motion.

"It's a good budget," said Rovito. "This is a protest vote against our state and federal budgets for not supporting our school districts."

Raymond Kraynak, who was absent from the meeting but conferenced in via speakerphone, also voted no.

Kraynak said he voted no to the budget because he felt it was unfair for the school board to have to finalize its budget before the state.

"We have no idea of the funding we are going to get from our government," said Kraynak.

As previously reported, an $835,000 budget increase from last year will be balanced by taking $600,000 from the district's assigned fund balance and $174,485.34 from its unassigned fund balance to eliminate a $774,000 shortfall.

The transfers leave the district with $2.5 million in its fund balance and $1,072,402.66 in the unassigned fund.

The board opted to forgo a one-mill tax increase at the May 29 meeting. The increase would have raised an additional $69,000 in revenue.

Only one member of the public attended Monday night's board meeting and no public comments were made regarding the budget.

The board's next meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. July 17.