FREEPORT — The fiscal 2016 budget for Regional School Unit 5 is expected to increase by $2.5 million, or 9.15 percent, officials said.

The board of directors met March 25 to discuss the spending plan for the Freeport, Durham and Pownal school district. The total operating budget is expected to be over $29.8 million.

If approved, the budget would result in $1.7 million in additional property taxes in Freeport, or a 7.57 percent increase. Taxpayers would see an increase to $1.20 per $1,000 of assessed value.

Taxpayers in Durham would see an increase of 10.18 percent to $1.69 per $1,000 of assessed value.

In Pownal, there would be an increase of 9.97 percent, to $3.44 per $1,000 of assessed value.

Much of the budget increase represents a proposed increase of $1.1 million in salaries and benefits for existing employees. Additionally, an increase of $1 million is expected for new positions.


Other increases include $330,500 in operating costs and $315,500 for supplies, equipment and technology.

The budget also projects a tuition decline of almost $287,000.

The RSU 5 board will hold a final budget-adoption meeting Wednesday, May 13. The budget will be officially approved at the annual budget meeting on Wednesday, May 27.

The Project Review Board will view conceptual plans for renovating Freeport High School and vote on them on Wednesday, April 8.

RSU 5 board Chairman Nelson Larkins said going before the board is standard for any project, and that the building architects expect to receive approval. He said the drawings of the almost 30,000 square feet in renovations have been completed.

Larkins said once the project is approved, the architect will finalize the plan and put out a request for bids. Larkins said construction is expected to start in October.

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