OTISFIELD — Selectmen will ask SAD 17 directors Thomas Moore Jr. and Joseph Vaillancourt to meet with them next month to discuss the proposed 2014-15 school budget.

The board said at its Wednesday night meeting that such meetings used to be routine and it would like to reinstate them.

“Our school budget is less than anticipated,” Selectmen Rick Micklon told board members at the meeting.

On March 26, the SAD 17 Budget Committee approved a preliminary $37.65 million budget for the Oxford Hills School District for 2014-15.

The budget is 4.75 percent more than this fiscal year and calls for a 4.5 percent average increase in the local share. Those increases will range from 3.53 percent in Harrison to 6.62 percent in Oxford. Otisfield taxpayers will see a 4.42 increase in its local share, a number much lower than this fiscal year.

In June 2013, voters approved a $35.94 million spending plan that required a 6.5 percent average increase in the local share districtwide. Otisfield taxpayers saw the highest increase at 10 percent.

The new fiscal year budget will be presented to the SAD 17 Board of Directors on Monday night.

Selectmen will hear details about the 2014-15 budget April 15 from Business Manager Cathy Fanjoy Coffey and Assistant Superintendent Patrick Hartnett at a hearing at 7 p.m. at Oxford Elementary School.

This year, due to scheduling problems, school officials asked selectmen in the eight district towns to join them for a discussion on budget at one of the four public hearings next week. Normally, selectmen meet with school officials in a separate meeting before the hearings.

Otisfield selectmen and residents will join their Oxford counterparts at the Oxford Elementary School on April 15 next week, while Superintendent Rick Colpitts attends the hearing for Norway and Paris officials and residents at the Guy E. Rowe Elementary School that night.

The School Committee will finalize its budget proposal April 30 and present it to the school board for adoption May 5.

On June 5, a districtwide budget meeting and vote will be held at 7 p.m. at Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School in Paris.

On June 10, the budget referendum will take place in Harrison, Hebron, Norway, Otisfield, Oxford, Paris, Waterford and West Paris.

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