RUMFORD – The SAD 43 board Monday delayed adoption of a proposed 2003-04 budget until it can meet with the district’s administrators.

Superintendent Danny Michaud had presented a proposed figure of $14.1 million, which was 3.7 percent higher than last year’s operating budget. It was also a middle point between two other proposed budgets that called for a 7 percent increase and another that reflected virtually no change in the current year’s operating figure.

The board decided to hold a series of workshops over the next few weeks with the district’s administrators to possibly reduce the $14.1 million figure. The board has many questions, said board Chairwoman Betty Barrett.

Those workshops are set for 6 to 9 p.m. Monday, April 14; 5 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, April 29; and 5 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, April 30. If a fourth workshop is needed, it will take place from 6 to 9 p.m. Monday, May 5. A regular board meeting would be held the day after, on Tuesday, May 6.

The board will invite administrators from the building, maintenance and bus drivers/custodians, central office, the technology program and each of the principals from the district’s five schools.

If the district has an adopted proposed budget in place by the end of the April 30 workshop, a referendum vote could be held at the June 10 primary. If adoption comes later, then Barrett said the budget vote will likely have to be scheduled for a couple of weeks later.

Residents of the four member towns defeated the proposed 2002-03 budget during the first vote on the budget last year. A later budget that reflected a $172,000 decrease was then passed in July.

During this year’s budget adoption process, residents will first act on a 2003-04 budget at a districtwide, town-meeting styled session. Then, three days later, they will vote at referendum on the figure approved at the earlier districtwide meeting.

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