FARMINGTON – With only a small percentage of registered voters going to the polls Wednesday, the 2009-10 SAD 9 budget easily passed.

“Some people were walking down the street and came in and said they didn’t even know there was a vote,” Weld Town Clerk Carol Cochran said.

“We’ve never had much luck getting them to turn out,” said New Vineyard Town Clerk Arlene Davis. “I could see from the turnout that a lot of the voters were teachers.”

Voters approved a total budget of $23.6 million, a 1.28 percent decrease from last year’s spending plan. The new total included $372,456 in federal stimulus funds.

SAD 9 Assistant Superintendent Susan Pratt said turnout varies year to year.

“The process that exists today is, ideally, the budget meeting is where the most information is exchanged and there was a low turnout there, so I’m not surprised there was a low turnout at the polls,” she said.

She added that it had been a rigorous and methodical budget process, resulting in a school budget that reflected a commitment to fiscal responsibility without adversely affecting the quality of education.

New Vineyard was the lone town that failed to validate the budget, by a vote of 14-9.

Other towns’ tallies were:

• Chesterville, 9-8;

• Farmington, 81-7;

• Industry, 11-10;

• New Sharon, 30-9;

• Temple, 13-11;

• Vienna, 18-8;

• Weld, 10-4; and

• Wilton, 48-10.

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