JAY — Fifty-four residents from Jay, Livermore and Livermore Falls approved an $18.05 million budget for Regional School Unit 73 on Thursday.

A validation referendum on the 2017-18 budget will take place Tuesday, June 13, in Jay, Livermore and Livermore Falls.

The amount is about $745,000 less than the 2016-17 budget, according to Superintendent Kenneth Healey. He noted that 12 positions in the district were cut, either through retirements or attrition.

“We were tasked as an administrative team to cut $673,000 from the existing budget,” Healey said.

The only article that drew discussion was one asking residents to appropriate $275,000 for Spruce Mountain Adult Education, with $150,000 as the local share for Jay, Livermore and Livermore Falls. Each town would contribute $50,000, with the rest coming from state and federal funds.

Jay Selectperson Judy Diaz made a motion to amend the local share to $40,000 for each town, totaling $120,000. School board Chairman Denise Rodzen opposed it.

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“There have been a lot of things that the adult education program has brought attention to,” she said. “There have been a lot of displaced workers because of the (Verso paper mill in Jay).”

Jay resident Dan Ryder agreed with Rodzen, saying for the amount of money the adult education program costs, “the gift of money back to the community is exponentially larger.”

Healey said the money proposed in the article would provide support for workers who lost their positions at the mill. If there was less money in the budget, fewer displaced workers could be served.

Voters turned down the amendment. They passed the article as originally worded, with $275,000 for adult education, including the $150,000 local share.

Other amounts approved were:

• $7.55 million for regular instruction

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• $2.53 million for special education

• $450,838 for other instruction

• $1.73 million for student and staff support

• $547,112.83 for system administration

• $886,215.52 for school administration

• $1.29 million for transportation and buses

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• $2.41 million for facilities and maintenance

• $647,324 for debt service and other commitments

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RSU 73 Superintendent Kenneth Healey, left, swears in moderator Ronald Aseltine at the RSU 73 budget meeting on Thursday.


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