On Sept. 13, voters in Minot, Mechanic Falls and Poland will vote for the third time on the Regional School Unit 16 school budget for 2011-12.
The budget as approved at the district budget meeting on Sept. 7 will raise the taxes of Minot and Poland residents.
This budget utilizes $565,000 of federal stimulus funds to offset the expenditures, along with $150,000 of capital improvement funds, as well as utilizing reserve funds of $50,000. These monies will not be available next year.
In addition to that, the proposed increase in administration/staff salaries this year is $139,000, plus associated increases in the cost of benefits. This means that nearly $1 million in additional costs will be required for the next budget unless the school board can find some drastic cuts, which they have been claiming are not possible.
They are kicking the problem into the next year just to get a budget passed.
At the Sept. 7 meeting, the superintendent would not answer the question of how much impact that would have on the mill rate next year if the budget request remained the same with no offsetting revenues. We all know there will be no more federal stimulus money coming, so where is this money coming from? Our taxes.
I will be voting "no" on this budget on Sept. 13. In this economy, we cannot afford to continue with business as usual on any level, whether it be federal, state, municipal or school.
Nancy Fraser, Poland