RSU 9 voters reject budget; board to develop new proposal

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Voting was brisk Tuesday afternoon on a $32.65 million budget for RSU 9 at the polls at the Community Center in Farmington.

FARMINGTON — Voters rejected a Regional School Unit 9 budget for the third time Tuesday. The vote was 1,608 to 2,893. 

With the failure of the $32.65 million spending plan, the school board must develop a new proposal to bring to voters in the 10 district towns.

“I am extremely pleased in the overwhelming support from all of our towns,” Superintendent Tom Ward said Tuesday night. “The hard work is not over.  Let’s continue to move forward and get a budget.”

The school board will meet at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 14, in the Forum at Mt. Blue Campus to discuss the next step in the process.

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A majority of voters cut nearly $1 million at a districtwide budget meeting Sept. 5 after factoring lower debt service from the school board’s proposed $33.67 million budget. The attempt was to fund the budget at last year’s amount, but it ended up being nearly $100,000 less than last year. The majority of the reduction came out of special education services.

In New Sharon, voters passed the budget, 227-210. New Vineyard voters also approved it, 99-78.

Vienna voters rejected the proposal, 41-124, as did Temple voters, 58-123. In Starks the vote was 24-156.

Farmington voters opposed the budget, 565 to 1,243, while Chesterville narrowly passed it, 168-166.

Wilton voters also opposed the budget, 322-575, as did Weld, 44-79.

Industry voters also rejected the budget, 60-139.

If voters had approved the budget, the district was looking at eliminating more than 30 positions and student programs, Ward confirmed Tuesday.

Voters on both sides of the issue and students worked to get voters to the polls.

dperry@sunmediagroup.net

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