FREEPORT – Regional School Unit 5 directors met Wednesday night for the first time since the 2009-10 proposed budget was rejected by voters last week.
Board members took comments from the public and considered the next steps to be taken. Despite the setback at the polls, board members said they were committed to the development of a fiscally responsible spending plan that continues to provide a strong educational program.
For now, the school system will operate on the most recent $22,777,795 budget approved by directors.
Directors requested administrators to bring detailed information on: changing a business office position from full time to part time, eliminating a high school teaching position, contracting a school bus service instead of purchasing two more buses, and contracting payroll services.
The schedule for the new budget process is:
• July 8 – Public input and board action on a revised budget.
• July 21 – Annual budget meeting for registered voters of Durham, Freeport and Pownal to discuss and vote on the revised budget article by article. The meeting will end when a budget is approved for referendum.
• July 22 – Absentee ballots will be available at the town offices for the referendum
• July 28 – Budget validation referendum in all three towns. If the budget is rejected, directors will have to go through the process again until one is passed.
The board has created a form to get feedback from residents about the budget. The form is on the Internet at http://rsu5.org/budgetcomment. The feedback will be distributed to board members by e-mail.


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