TURNER — Superintendent Kimberly Brandt told School Administrative District 52 directors Thursday night that the initial budget for 2017-18 is 4.26 percent more than this fiscal year.

The current budget is $25.57 million.

Brandt said contractual obligations — amounts that must be paid per contracts — are projected to go up by 2.4 percent.

The district’s assets are worth about $49 million and in the 2016-17 district audit report, officials were advised to put an amount equal to 1 percent of that figure in a repair and maintenance line. The district is funding the line at 0.5 percent.

“We have a good school system,” Brandt said. “We have good employees, we have hardworking teachers and ed techs and food service, and everywhere I go I’m impressed with how much energy and effort people are putting forward to be the very best that they can be for our students. People really care here.”

Assistant Superintendent Thomas Ambrose said a $57,802 increase in student and staff support in the 2017-18 budget is mostly because of salaries and benefits.

Decreases include $22,126 in technology spending because there are no more lease payments for computers.

The school administration line is also lower by $56,065, mostly because of decreases to administrator salaries at Tripp Middle School and Leavitt Area High School, both in Turner.

At the middle school, the full-time assistant principal changed to three days there and two days at Greene Central School per week. And at the high school, one position will be a half-time assistant principal and half-time athletic director.

Business Manager Deborah Roberts proposed a separate warrant article to complete roof repairs at Turner Primary School and Leeds Central School.

The sum of $200,000 from the Capital Repair and Remodeling Reserve Fund would pay part of the cost. Efficiency Maine rebates would also help.

The article is separate to make it less confusing to voters, Roberts said, but it also has the risk of being voted down.

“Either way, voters have to approve the expenditures before we can do anything,” she said.

SAD 52 budget timeline:

March 2, 6 p.m. workshop at 6 p.m., Leeds Central School;

March 16, 6 p.m. workshop at Tripp Middle School;

March 30, 6 p.m. workshop at Greene Central School;

April 6, 6 p.m. workshop and adoption of proposed budget at Leeds Central School;

April 13, 6 p.m. budget votes to call district budget meeting and validation referendum, and to sign budget warrant at Leeds Central School;

April 25, budget books delivered to communities;

May 2, 6 p.m. district budget meeting at Leavitt Area High School auditorium;

May 16, 1 to 7 p.m. budget validation referendum at town polling stations.

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