FARMINGTON — Regional School Unit 9 voters made quick work Tuesday, May 28 of approving a proposed $37.12 million budget that will go to voters for a validation referendum June 11 in the district’s 10 towns.

The spending plan for 2019-20 is $1.57 million, or 4.44%,  more than this fiscal year, which ends June 30.

Due to changes in state valuation, the impact of the proposal on local taxes averages an increase of .27%, said, Superintendent Tina Meserve.

Moderator Ronald Aseltine of Wilton at right addresses Regional School Unit 9 voters Tuesday, May 28 at the district budget meeting. Also pictured from left are directors Debbie Smith of Weld, Lidie Robbins of Vienna, Betsy Hyde of Temple and Lisa Laflin of New Vineyard. Franklin Journal photo by Dee Menear

In welcoming voters to the meeting, Cherieann Harrison of Wilton, board chairwoman said, “I want to thank you all for taking the time tonight to come to our meeting. Your attendance and participation tonight are greatly appreciated. We are a collaborative community of ten towns and have come together to fund the education of our children.

“This has been an exciting year to be chair. When other districts are seeing a decrease in enrollment, we are seeing an increase. We are thrilled to know young families are moving to our district.”

Meserve said the proposed budget would provide for teacher pay raises averaging 2.5% and support staff raises averaging 5%.

“We are not at the area average for staff salary. Our goal is to have competitive salaries for our teaching staff and support staff,” she said.

The proposed budget hike also reflects increased costs for books and supplies; a second-grade teacher at Cape Cod Hill School; a W.G. Mallett School teacher who is now paid through a grant; special education support; and a career counselor for Foster Career and Technical Education Center satellite sites, she said.

“Our mission is that our learning community creates structures that support student’s achievement,” she added. “We made it a high priority of making sure that when our students need support, those supports are available.”

Ronald Aseltine of Wilton was elected moderator.

Nearly 200 voters moved through the warrant and passed expenditure articles without discussion.

Polling hours for RSU 9 validation vote on June 11:

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

Farmington: Noon to 7 p.m., Community Center

Industry: 2 to 8 p.m., Town Office

New Sharon: Noon to 7 p.m., Town Office

New Vineyard: 1 to 7 p.m., Smith Hall

Starks: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Community Center

Temple: 1 to 7 p.m., Town Hall

Vienna: 2 to 8 p.m., Fire Station

Weld: 4 to 8 p.m., Town Office

Wilton: 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., Town Office

Voters also approved the formation of Western Maine Regional Service Center. This will not be part of the upcoming budget referendum vote.

Other districts involved in the proposed Interlocal Agreement include Spruce Mountain, Fayette, Lisbon, Mt. Abram, Carrabec, Rumford, Madison, Telstar and Dirigo.

If the agreement is approved by the Maine Commissioner of Education, the service center would begin operation in July 2020.


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