FARMINGTON — The Regional School Unit 9 board of directors unanimously approved a $37.12 million 2019-20 budget Tuesday night that, if accepted by voters, would raise assessments for most towns.

Regional School Unit 9 directors unanimously approve a $37.12 million 2019-20 budget Tuesday, April 23. Pictured are directors Debbie Smith of Weld, Lisa Park-Laflin of New Vineyard and Carol Coles of Starks. Franklin Journal photo by Dee Menear

The spending plan covers education for pre-kindergarten through grade 12.

The budget is almost $1.6 million, or 4.44%, more than current spending.

Directors also approved a $457,773 adult education budget. The current budget for the program is $398,254.

Prior to board approval, one resident inquired about the board decision to suspend live streaming of board meetings.

“The board decided to suspend it for one year,” said Chairwoman Cherieann Harrison. “There was difficulty getting staff to stream the meeting for us. Beyond that, we would need to budget for staff time.

In addition to staff expenses, the microphones used by the board are inadequate for the recording system, she said.

“We were seeing very small numbers of people watching it,” she added. “We will revisit it after a year.”

Voters will consider the budgets at the districtwide meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 28, in Bjorn Auditorium on the Mt. Blue Campus.

The budget referendum will be held Tuesday, June 11, at polling stations in the district towns.

If approved, town assessments will be as follows: Chesterville, $1.06 million, an increase of $8,723; Farmington, $4.81 million, a $50,102 increase; Industry, $932,787, an increase of $8,695; New Sharon, $1.04 million, a $3,201 decrease; New Vineyard, $765,100, a $21,846 increase; Starks, $481,293, an increase of $17,989; Temple, $432,177, a $7,347 increase; Vienna, $730,547, an $8,559 increase; Weld, $496,254, a $27,352 decrease; and Wilton, $2.75 million, a decrease of $56,657.

In other matters, directors approved the 2019-20 school calendar. The first day of school will be Monday, Aug 26.

“This was a request from staff,” Superintendent Tina Meserve said. “We have had a lot of snow days in recent years. Starting earlier assures we do not go into late June.”

Meserve said nine snow days were built into the calendar, making the last day of school June 19, 2020.

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