Residents of Regional School Unit 73 vote Thursday on the 2022-23 budget at Spruce Mountain Middle School in Jay. Voters from Jay used blue cards, Livermore green and Livermore Falls yellow. Pam Harnden/Livermore Falls Advertiser

JAY — Voters passed all 21 warrant articles in the Spruce Mountain school district budget Thursday night.

The $22.17 million spending plan for Regional School Unit 73 is $1.42 million more than this fiscal year.

Polls will be open April 26 in Jay, Livermore and Livermore Falls for voters to validate the budget and consider keeping the current budget validation process for the next three years.

The first article seeking $8.6 million for regular instruction drew comment from Sharri Ouellette, a Jay resident, business owner and former director for the district.

“In light of everything that’s gone on, with inflation, prices have gone up for everyone,” she said. “After I left this meeting the last time I was told ‘I just don’t understand how this works.’ Let me tell you what I do understand. I do understand what it is like to try to make enough money to pay taxes, to pay crews, to pay rent, insurance, pay all of those things and still come up short.”


“Most businesses in these towns, in this area, they are struggling because of COVID two years later,” Ouellette said and asked for the budget to be cut back a little. “Make a good-faith effort to these townspeople to show that you care that they have to give up something in order to pay taxes.”

With no amendment made to the article and no other comments, the motion carried as presented.

Voters approved establishing a $45,000 reserve fund for the Holland Strong tennis courts project near the elementary school with up to that amount being expended as needed. They also established a capital reserve account of up to $100,000 using balances left at the end of the 2021-2022 year to use for unexpected increases in utilities or maintenance needs the following year.

Prior to approval of continuing the tuition contract for Fayette students, Jim Manter of Livermore asked if it was a flat fee per student.

“Yes, (Fayette) pays the maximum the state allows for tuition, in the $11,000 range for students grades six through 12,” Superintendent Scott Albert said, “However, if it is a special education student we receive, if we have to spend additional money on that student according to their (Individualized Education Program) the town of Fayette pays that.”

The tuition amount which is fairly close to what the other students cost the district, is equitable, Albert said.

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