LIVERMORE FALLS — The Regional School Unit 73 board of directors restarted the budget process Tuesday with a remote public hearing via a Zoom videoconference.

A similar meeting was held June 23, prior to the previously scheduled July 14 referendum vote.

“Thereafter it was discovered that the ballots, warrants and other referendum documents contained a substantial error as to the amount of taxes the school board intended and approved to fund the budget and thereby meet its fiscal year 2020-2021 obligations and commitments and provide adequate education,” Superintendent Scott Albert said

RSU 73 was one of four districts in which errors were made.

“To cure the error and ensure voters have the opportunity to vote on the proposed school budget as the school board intended and approved,” Albert said, “the board rescinded the July 14 referendum, called this new remote public hearing and called a new referendum for August 18.”

Voting on the $20.2 million spending plan is scheduled for noon to 6 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 18, at polling stations in Jay, Livermore and Livermore Falls.

The RSU 73 budget for 2020-21 is up $593,445, or 3.03%, from current spending.

Information on the district’s proposed expenditures is available at the public hearing guide, found on the district’s website — www.rsu73.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/Public-Hearing-Guide.pdf.

Proposed amounts to be appropriated for the RSU 73 budget, by municipality, include Jay $7.5 million, Livermore $2.8 million, and Livermore Falls $6.2 million.

Proposed amounts to be raised, by municipality: Jay, $4.4 million; Livermore, $1.6 million; and Livermore Falls, $1.4 million.

The total amount appropriated would be $16.5 million. The total raised would be $7.4 million.

RSU 73 would also have to raise and appropriate almost $2.9 million in local funds to provide for costs not fully funded by the state.

Voters are expected to answer four questions Aug. 18:

• Article 1 asks to appropriate $20.2 million and raise $10.2 million for the 2020-21 budget.

• Article 2 authorizes the school board to transfer amounts exceeding 5% of the total appropriation for any cost center to or among other cost center(s), provided the budget isn’t increased.

• Article 3 seeks to appropriate $844,665 and raise $206,965 ($68,988 for each town) for the food service program.

• Article 4 asks to appropriate $387,939 and raise $195,000 ($65,000 for each town) for adult education.

After the ballot questions were reviewed, director Andrew Sylvester said a resident had asked him why no money had been set aside for career education.

“Based on a conversation with you (Albert), because we’re part of Foster Career and Technical Education Center, those services are provided to the district,” Sylvester said.

Albert answered: “We’re part of that region, so it’s already paid for. It’s not paid for out of our individual budget.”


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