POLAND — RSU 16's proposed $17.8 million budget for 2011-12 received solid support at Wednesday's district budget meeting.
Opposition to the budget surfaced when the first article was introduced and Poland's Hope Becker offered an amendment that would cut $100,000 from the $6.6 million proposed for regular education.
Following a brief discussion, the amendment was rejected with a show of hands by the overwhelming majority of the nearly 200 residents of Mechanic Falls, Minot and Poland in attendance.
The results of the only article that was voted on by written ballot — the article approving funds that exceed the state's Essential Programs and Services funding model — was approved 143-30.
This was the district's third attempt to pass a budget. In May, and again in June, residents at district budget meetings passed budgets only to see them rejected when they went to validating referendums.
This budget is about $300,000 less than the one presented in May and its effects on local property taxes have been reduced.
It is now estimated that the owner of a property valued at $100,000 in Mechanic Falls can expect to pay 34 cents less as a result of the passage of a $17.8 million budget; the owner of a similar property in Minot would pay $34.94 more; and, in Poland, the owner of the $100,000 property would see taxes increase by $9.49.
School Superintendent Dennis Duquette expressed the hope that all residents will get behind the latest budget.
“We are requesting a fair budget, one required to run great schools with great people,” Duquette said.
The $17.8 million budget now goes to a validating referendum at customary polling places in Mechanic Falls, Minot and Poland on Tuesday, Sept. 13, from 4 to 8 p.m.