Proposed $33.9 million RSU 9 budget passes first hurdle

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FARMINGTON — It was a night of amendments and several written ballots as Regional School Unit 9 voters passed a proposed $33.9 million vote Tuesday. It factors in additional state revenues for education.

It will go to a referendum validation vote in each of the district’s 10 towns Aug. 3. 

The proposal represents a $1.15 million increase over last year.  About 150 registered voters turned out for the vote at Mt. Blue Campus.

Superintendent Tom Ward began the meeting by thanking legislators for working hard to increase state General Purpose Aid To Education to schools. He also thanked the school board for working hard on a budget and for using more than 50 percent of the $729,954 for reducing property tax assessments.

Moderator Ron Aseltine kept the meeting flowing.

Several amendments to reduce an article for regular education failed. It passed with a nearly $25,000 increase to make it $10.31 million with the addition of a part-time American Sign Language teaching position by a vote of 121-29.  That will increase the current half-time teaching position to a full-time position at Mt. Blue High School.

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Attempts to reduce the proposed $5.18 million article for special education in written ballots overwhelmingly were rejected. The original amount passed in a verbal vote.

An initial request to vote by written ballot was based on 10 percent of the voters in attendance. After an unidentified voter explained that Robert’s Rules of Order requires a majority vote for a written ballot, voters voted 106-36 to follow Robert’s Rules of Order.

Article 3 for $1.64 million for career and technical education passed in a verbal vote after attempts to amend it and to have written ballots failed. 

An article for other instruction passed at $451,029 after two amendments to reduce it were rejected.

Other articles followed the same pattern with the articles being approved. Voters approved spending $3.68 million for facilities maintenance. That amount included $165,018 from the additional $729,954 to reduce the amount to be borrowed for capital improvement projects. Voters approved a nearly $318,000 bond for capital projects on June 13.

The remaining articles passed as is.

The board appropriated the remaining funds Thursday to go to: $378,165 to reduce property tax assessments; $136,018 to add two social workers for general education students; and $50,340 to add a half-time guidance counselor position and half-time student services coordinator at Mt. Blue Campus.

dperry@sunmediagroup.net

RSU 9 budget validation vote Aug. 3

Chesterville: noon to 8 p.m., Town Office

Farmington: noon to 7 p.m., Community Center

Industry: 2 to 8 p.m., Town Office

New Sharon: noon to 6 p.m., Town Office

New Vineyard: 1 to 7 p.m., Smith Hall

Starks: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Community Center

Temple: 7 a.m. to noon, Town Hall

Vienna: 1 to 7 p.m., Fire Station

Weld: 4 to 8 p.m., Town Office

Wilton: noon to 7 p.m., Town Office

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