FARMINGTON — Regional School Unit 9 has scheduled three informational budget meetings in April in Farmington, New Sharon and Wilton, Superintendent Tom Ward told school directors Tuesday.

The district’s board of directors has not finalized a proposed budget for 2016-17 and won’t have one finalized before the meetings. Ward will present information on the budget to inform people of what the district faces in requests, needs and anticipated revenue. Those attending will be able to ask questions and give input.

The board is working on a preliminary draft of $33.5 million for 2016-17, which is $1.5 million, or 4.7 percent, more than the current $32 million budget. Not included are any requests administrators have given to directors during the preliminary review. Initially, it was believed that the preliminary budget included all requests and needs.

Ward said previously that the goal is to finalize a budget with less of an increase than the previous two years. The current budget was about a 3.3 percent increase from the previous year, and the 2014-15 budget of $31 million was an increase of about 4.3 percent. Overall, the past two years’ budgets have increased a total of about $2.3 million. That does not factor in any offsets such as anticipated revenue.

There will not be a budget meeting Thursday, March 24, because of a scheduled Orchestra Celebration at 7 p.m. in the gym at Mt. Blue Campus. Several board members have children participating in the event.

Preliminary review of the draft budget will end during the 6 p.m. meeting on Tuesday, March 29, at Mt. Blue Campus. Then budget deliberations will begin.

In preliminary financial information, the district is slated to get more state general purpose aid to education and to have its debt reduced. The education tax rate has also been reduced by the Legislature, which will reduce the increase towns have to raise in order to get the nearly 64 percent in state funding for what falls within the state’s school funding formula.

The informational meetings scheduled are:

• Monday, April 4, 6 p.m., Wilton Public Safety Building;

• Wednesday, April 6, 6 p.m., Farmington Community Center; and

• Thursday, April 7, 6 p.m., Cape Cod Hill School in New Sharon.

Residents of the 10-town district are encouraged to attend any of the informational meetings and budget meetings.

Ward told directors to tell selectmen in their respective towns that he is willing to meet with them as well. Typically he has gone to each town to talk to town officials. A suggestion from a resident of the district this school year was to hold three informational meetings in different towns.

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