PERU — The RSU 10 board finished the first run-through of a proposed 2013-14 budget Monday night with presentations by special education and several other cost centers.

At the April 8 regular meeting, the board and administration will take a closer look at requests and most likely make some cuts.

The current year’s operating budget is $35.1 million. It is unknown whether that figure will remain the same or increase.

Superintendent Tom Ward said the final adoption of a figure which will be voted on by residents of the 12 towns will be delayed until April 29. This delay is due to a series of unknowns from the state level which could result in a local budget increase.

Plans at this time call for a district-wide, town meeting-style budget vote on May 29 at Dirigo High School. The figure that is approved at that time will go before voters in each town by referendum on June 11.

He said he wants to learn how much of an impact the proposed budget would make on each of the towns.

The state has not yet determined how much teacher retirement funding that the districts must pick up, nor has the state provided the amount of General Purpose Aid to Education that RSU 10 would receive.

At the April 8 meeting, scheduled to be held at the Hartford-Sumner Elementary School, Ward said any new positions, including stipend positions, will also be presented.

The district lost nearly $160,000 from the state’s curtailment of funds promised for the current school year, and a freeze was set on the purchase of most equipment and supplies. Overtime was virtually eliminated.

In another effort to reduce costs, RSU 10 has also offered a retirement incentive for teachers who meet the requirements.

The board is working on short- and long-term facilities plans in another attempt to save money. A special board workshop was set for 6 p.m. April 2 at Mountain Valley High School for that work to continue.

The board’s Finance Committee is also set to meet at 4:30 p.m. April 8.

The cost for special education would increase about $10,000, and the increase to
transportation for special needs students would be $13,000. There would be a $9,000 decrease for operation of the Central office.

In other matters, the board officially accepted the resignation of Ward, who is leaving June 30 for a similar position in RSU 9 in Farmington, and the resignation of MVHS bus driver/custodian, Holli Smith.

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