LIVERMORE FALLS — RSU 73 voters trimmed $203,343 from the 2012-13 budget Tuesday night in a sometimes contentious meeting. The result was an $18.8 million spending plan, which is $410,527 more than this year.

The budget will go to a referendum Tuesday, June 12, in Jay, Livermore and Livermore Falls.

The amount each town will need to raise, including adult education, and the change from last year is: Jay, $9 million, an increase of $872,773; Livermore, $1.7 million, an increase of $53,573; and Livermore Falls, $1.4 million, an increase of $32,095. That’s according to district Business Manager Stacie Field on Wednesday.

L. Clint Boothby of Livermore moderated the sometimes contentious meeting.

The closest vote of 29-28 was on article 14 to raise $2.1 million in additional local funds to cover the amount in the budget that exceeded the state’s education funding model.

Residents voted 32-23 to approve $7.5 million for regular instruction.

They voted 38-17 to OK $2.36 million for special education.

Field and Superintendent Robert Wall took questions about revenue. The district anticipates getting $98,648 less in state subsidy, Field said. The single-greatest decrease in revenue was more than $400,000 from the federal jobs bill, Wall said. He also said there was a significant decrease in revenue because not as many Fayette students are paying tuition to the district.

Fayette students have the option of attending different schools once they reach grade six.

People questioned the proposed savings the district was to see with consolidation of Jay and Livermore-Livermore Falls school systems.

Wall said that consolidation is not done. This is the first year of consolidation, he said, and taxpayers in all three towns had to pay less in taxes to support the current budget.

Spencer Jackman of Livermore Falls said the budget went up.

“I don’t see a savings,” Jackman said.

The budget went up less than if the two systems were separate, Wall said. There were savings, he said, and pointed out there was $120,000 decrease in the instruction line at Spruce Mountain Middle School.

“Spending money is not saving,” Jackman said.

Voters approved the article on other instruction 46-6.

Voters attempted to reduce the $1.6 million student and staff support article by $46,427 but the amendment failed 21-37. The original amount passed 36-21.

Voters reduced the $578,217 for system administration by $53,000 by a vote of 35-22. That article contains the superintendent’s office, board of directors and business office.

Livermore Falls resident Brenda Brochu said the tax base cannot handle the increases.

Wall said the only town paying the statewide average of taxes for education is Livermore. He said the towns all saw a decrease in tax assessments the first year of consolidation.

Livermore resident Kurt Schaub said what concerns him is that all the towns had cash balances to help offset the current budget and the proposed budget but that will be gone next year.

An article for $1 million for school administration passed 32-24.

Voters approved the $2.9 million facilities maintenance article, 33-21.

Though voters cut $150,000 from debt service to bring it to $847,949, they left $86,667 in the operation of plant budget at the north campus high school in Jay for a tax anticipation note. That is in case a new project is approved by voters to house all high school students at one campus.

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