FARMINGTON — Regional School Unit 9 voters approved a proposed $33.89 million budget for 2017-18 Wednesday to go to voters in a yes or no referendum format in the 10 district towns on June 13.

The proposed spending plan represents a 3.51 percent, or $1.14 million increase over the current budget.

Voters at Mt. Blue campus debated the budget and the needs of students and its effects on taxpayers. Several comments were followed by applause.

A couple of amendments to Article 1, regular instruction, failed by a verbal yes or no vote.

Farmington resident Elaine Graham had asked for a written ballot on a second amendment to the article but not in what some considered a formal motion. The amendment to reduce it from $10.34 million to $10.27 million failed verbally.

The vote on the original amount of $10.34 million passed. 

Some voters asked why Graham’s request for a written ballot did not move forward.

Moderator Ron Aseltine then asked voters if they wanted to go back to the amendment. That vote was taken by a show of hands and it failed 84-166.

Voters who opposed the article questioned the way the vote was decided and the sound of each of the aye votes and no votes as a group.

The original article on regular instruction passed. 

After the second article pertaining to $5.2 million for special education passed, again by verbal vote, many voters who voted no walked out.

Following that, there was little opposition to the votes as the meeting progressed.

District officials are hoping the Legislature will restore the 50 percent that the governor’s proposed budget eliminated for system administration to be covered under the state funding formula.

That would mean about $500,000 to the district to help offset town tax assessments. The Legislature is still struggling to set a state budget.

An article was approved that would allow the board to decide what to do with additional revenue and those options include giving money back to the towns to lower the school tax assessment.

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Projected town assessments for RSU 9 towns if $33.89 million budget passes on June 13 are:

Chesterville: $1 million, increase of $75,403

Farmington: $4.87 million, increase of $249,355

Industry: $882,444, increase of $73,843

New Sharon: $1 million, increase of $52,955

New Vineyard: $754,506, increase of $49,031

Starks: $408,258, increase of $49,566

Temple: $453,226, increase of $12,953

Vienna: $739,027, increase of $39,268

Weld: $483,594, increase of $13,107

Wilton: $2.99 million, increase of $107,209

Source: RSU 9 

Voting hours for June 13 validation, bond referendum are:

Chesterville: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Town Office

Farmington: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Community Center

Industry: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Town Office

New Sharon:  8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Town Office

New Vineyard: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Smith Hall

Starks: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Community Center

Temple:  8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Town Hall

Vienna: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Fire Station

Weld: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Town Office

Wilton: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Town Office

Voters at RSU 9 attempted to go back to Article 1, regular instruction, after it was believed that Elaine Graham of Farmington asked for a written ballot Wednesday night on the article at the districtwide budget vote. Pictured are those voting in favor of going back. The attempt failed by 84-166 vote.


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