Residents of Durham, Freeport and Pownal, the three towns in Regional School Unit 5, will go back to the polls for a budget validation referendum on Tuesday, July 28, for the second time in just over a month.

In the first tri-town referendum on June 26, the budget was defeated by a vote of 582-661 with most of the dissenting votes coming from Pownal and Durham. State law provides that the budget and voting process will continue until a budget is adopted by the voters. In the meantime, since July 1, the RSU has been operating on the latest budget approved by the board of directors.

The latest revised budget approved by the board is $22 million — $774,698 less than the initial proposed budget.

The estimated tax impact per $100,000 valuation in each town is as follows: Durham, $242 increase ($75 of which is the voter-approved local portion of the new Durham Elementary construction project); Pownal, $450 increase; Freeport, a reduction of $11 from last year.

Absentee ballots are available at each of the three town clerks’ offices. Polling hours and locations are as follows: Durham, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the elementary school; Freeport, 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Town Office; Pownal 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Town Office.

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