RSU 10 residents soon to receive budget explanation sheets

DIXFIELD — Residents of the 12 towns in RSU 10 will soon receive a new breakdown of the proposed 2013-14 budget in their mailboxes.

The information sheet will show the impact of budgeting $468,000 for teacher retirement costs that had previously been paid by the state. It also explains that RSU 10 will receive nearly $346,000 in additional state aid.

There will also be a letter from the board and former Superintendent Tom Ward explaining why the board-approved budget will be higher than the one that was narrowly defeated at referendum in June.

Approved on Monday was a proposed budget of $36.5 million, up nearly 4 percent from the 2012-13 budget.

Ward wrote that $468,000 had been added to the original budget of $36.18 million. The additional state aid offset some of that, but more cuts had to be made to ensure that many member towns would see little or no increase paid by taxpayers.

He said the 2012-13 budget had an overall increase to member towns of $889,128. However, the recently approved 2013-14 budget represents an overall decrease of $59,298.

Cuts made Monday night totaled $128,500. About $60,000 was eliminated from leadership team stipends, which will now be changed at an hourly rate. Personnel changes were reduced $38,500, and summer school wages were cut by $30,000.

Both Ward and new Superintendent Craig King said additional cuts will reduce the educational program offered in RSU 10.

Informational meetings on the budget will be held at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 23, at Region 9 School of Applied Technology in Mexico, and at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 24, at Buckfield Junior-Senior High School.

Voters will act on the $36.5 million budget at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, July 25, at Mountain Valley High School in Rumford. That will be followed by a referendum at town polling stations July 30.

RSU 10 is comprised of Canton, Carthage, Peru, Dixfield, Roxbury, Byron, Rumford, Mexico, Buckfield, Sumner, Hartford and Hanover.

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