TURNER — School Administrative District 52 directors this week set the first public vote on its proposed $27.4 million budget for May 10 and the validation vote for May 18. 

The board met Thursday night.

Included in the budget for 2018-19 are funds to bring back the varsity golf program, introduce varsity indoor track to the high school for the first time and add a few staff positions, according to board Chairwoman Betsy Bullard.

The budget is up 4.68 percent over last year, but the impact to taxpayers is partially offset by additional state funds, Bullard said.

A home valued at $100,000 would be taxed an additional $37 in Turner, $29 in Leeds and $40 in Greene.

Changes included in the budget, according to Bullard:

• The addition of a districtwide transportation supervisor;

• Separating the single role of assistant principal and athletic director at the high school into two positions, dean of students and athletic director;

• Expanding the school nurse position at Turner Elementary to a full-time;

• Adding a special education teacher in the autism program at Turner Elementary; and

• Adding a half-time pre-kindergarten teacher and three pre-kindergarten educational technician IIs to meet state staffing requirements in that program.

There were two positions cut, one educational technician and one office support, but neither involved any layoffs, she said.

“Returning (the athletic director position) to full-time will enable us to take on a few more extracurricular activities,” like golf and indoor track, she said.

The golf program had stopped several years ago.

“There seems to be a resurgence of interest around it, as well as really trying to have sports and co-curricular activities that are kind of lifelong activities, too,” Bullard said. “Golf is certainly one of those.”

Creating the full-time dean of students role will also help better support students’ academic needs by having someone focused on that and not having to split their time, she said.

The district budget vote, a chance for residents to ask questions about spending and vote on the budget warrant item by item, will be at 6 p.m. May 10 at Leavitt Area High School.

The budget validation, when residents will vote on the budget approved on May 10, will be May 18 at town offices in Turner, Greene and Leeds.

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