RSU 10 must pay nearly $500,000 for retirement costs

DIXFIELD — The RSU 10 board learned Monday that although it will receive slightly more state aid than expected, it also must pay half the state's share of teacher retirement.

Eileen M. Adams

Newly elected RSU 10 board member from Buckfield, Michelle Casey.

Eileen M. Adams

Brad Gallant, newest representative from Rumford on the RSU 10 school board.

The state's recently adopted biennial budget provided more money for school districts but also required that the district pay half the state's share of teacher retirement costs. For RSU 10, that figure is $468,000, which is $122,000 more than the additional general purpose aid of nearly $346,000.

Former Superintendent Tom Ward, who left the district at the end of June, returned Monday to assist newly hired Superintendent Craig King through the development of another budget. The first budget, at $36.18 million, was defeated by 32 votes out of more than 3,000 that were cast on June 11.

Another budget proposal will go before voters later this month.

This time, the total proposed budget will include the teacher retirement costs, bringing it to $36.52 million.

"Because teacher retirement had to be paid, we had to increase the budget," Ward said.

Although the figure is higher than the one defeated last month, Ward said most of the district's 12 towns will pay less than last year's operating budget.

Board members approved the new budget by a weighted vote of 9,842-5,636. Voting for the new proposed budget were: Jerry Wiley, Faith Campbell, Barbara Chow, Bruce Ross, Peter Zanoni, Lolisa Windover and Marcia Chaisson.

Voting against the figure were Michelle Casey, Judy Boucher, Ronnie Hutchinson, Shawn White, Brad Gallant and John Phillips.

Before the vote, several concerns were expressed by board members because of the higher budget figure.

"This will be a hard sell," Chaisson said.

Boucher was concerned with rumors that the local paper mill may close and cause a significant impact on the district and its member towns.

However, Wiley said the board shouldn't deal with speculation.

"We'll deal with it when or if it happens," he said.

The new proposed budget impacts the member towns as follows:

* Buckfield, original budget, $38,053 more than 2012-13, revised budget,$36,728 more than 2012-13

* Byron, original budget, $8,056 more than last year, revised budget, $13,584

* Canton, original budget, $11,183 less than last year, revised budget, $11,502 less

* Carthage, $9,497 more than last year, revised budget, $9,763 more

* Dixfield, $9,701 less, revised budget, $8,254 less

* Hanover, $19,421 more than last year, revised budget, $27,059 more

* Hartford, $15,186 more, revised budget, $10,425 more

* Mexico, $60,420 less than last year, revised budget $57, 126 less

* Peru, $57,211 less than last year, revised, $60, 989 less

* Roxbury, $71,478 more than last year, revised, $80,887 more

* Rumford, $92,774 less than last year, revised, $114,720 less

* Sumner, $16,502 more than last year, revised, $14,846 more

Two informational meetings were set for 6:30 p.m., July 23 at Region 9 in Mexico and 6:30 p.m., July 24 at Buckfield Junior-Senior High School. At that time, Ward and King will explain how state aid, state valuation and numbers of students enrolled affect a budget.

A districtwide budget vote will be held on Thursday, July 24, at Mountain Valley High School. The figure adopted during that meeting will be voted on in each individual town by referendum on July 30.

King said he supported moving forward with the new budget proposal.

"You are at a point now — do you want to start dismembering programs?" he said.

During the past four years, 61 positions have been eliminated.

"This is not a frivolous number," he said.

The board will hold a regular meeting on July 15.

Eileen M. Adams/Sun Journal

Volunteer Darrold Comstock of Mexico devotes much time to weeding the flower beds and cleaning up the memorial stones at the Mexico Greens. He said he's had to work between rainstorms this summer.

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Comments

Mark Belanger's picture

This number needs to be

This number needs to be changed at the July 24th meeting. It should be closer to the EPS model. Why would you send a budget out higher after it had been voted down. Pease mark your calenders and show up on the 24th so we can lower this budget.

Tony Capola's picture

A terrible burden

So; anyone that does not agree with you is death, dumb, and blind...

Always being among those few that are forever right in your thinking must be a terrible burden to bear. Where would be all be if it weren't for your ability to set us straight?

Name-calling is always a great way to get your point across.

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