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School district budget hearings to begin in April

PARIS — Superintendent Rick Colpitts and school officials will take the proposed Fiscal 2019 budget to the towns beginning April 4 when they begin four days of community-wide budget presentations.

Colpitts recently released a revised schedule for community budget hearings that will be held in April in advance of the SAD 17 Board of Directors expected vote in May 7 to adopt the FY2019 budget.

While cost center managers, such a building principals, athletic director and so forth, have been developing their budgets since December, the Budget Committee does not begin its work until March 7 when it begins a weekly series of cost center reviews with department heads. The committee will also review local, state, and federal revenues as it  finalizes its budget review.

The first community-wide budget hearing will be held after the Budget Committee finishes its work and the Superintendent presents the preliminary budget to the School Board on April 2 and meets with town officials from the eight district towns the following evening.

Then on April 4, the first community-wide preliminary budget hearing will be held for Norway and Paris residents at the Paris Elementary School.

On Thursday, April 5, residents and Oxford and Otisfield will meet at the Oxford Elementary School for their budget hearing.

The following week, on Wednesday April 11, residents of Hebron and West Paris will meet at the Hebron Station School and on Thursday, April 12, Harrison and Waterford residents will meet at the Waterford Memorial School.

All community meetings will be held from 6 to 7 p.m. and all meetings, including school board, budget committee and community-wide budget hearings are open to the public.

Before the proposed budget goes before the full Board of Directors, school officials will meet with staff during the week of April 23.

On May 2, the Budget Committee will take all the information gathered during the public meetings and finalize the budget. That final budget will be presented to the  SAD 17 Board of Directors on May 7 for adoption.

There is a district budget hearing/meeting is  scheduled for June 7 in the Forum at the Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School. At that time, voters from all eight district towns will hear a presentation on the budget articles in the warrant and take action on each article separately. That is the only time that the budget can be amended.

On June 12, the  ballot validation referendum will be approved or turned down by the majority of voters in all eight district towns at their polling places. That vote will be a straight “yes” or “no” on the total budget number.

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