MEXICO — The Region 9 School of Applied Technology board of directors approved a $2.02 million budget proposal for 2022-23 on Wednesday. The amount is $283,000 less than the $2.31 million for this fiscal year.

Of the three school districts and four towns that send students to the technical school, only Andover will see an increase in its assessments for the school; Andover will pay $647 more than this year. Residents of Regional School Unit 10 based in Rumford will pay $19,171 less; School Administrative District 44 based in Bethel will pay $8,660 less; and RSU 56 based in Dixfield will pay $16,038 less.

Residents in Byron will pay $666 less, while residents in Gilead will pay $1,110 less. Upton residents have not had students attending the school and paid no taxes this year nor will they pay taxes for the school next year.

Region 9 Director Brenda Gammon said this week the lower budget for the coming fiscal year is partly because a forestry program and a career exploratory program were cut. She also said computer technology was changed to half time.

The 16 towns sending students to Region 9 School of Applied Technology are Rumford, Mexico, Roxbury, Hanover, Bethel, Newry, Woodstock, Greenwood, Dixfield, Canton, Carthage, Peru, Andover, Byron, Gilead and Upton.

Courses offered include culinary arts, certified nursing assistant, early childhood education, commercial driver’s license, fire science and outdoor skills and leadership.

Residents of the 16 towns will vote on the budget at 6 p.m. May 4 at the school at 377 River Road in Mexico.

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