WALES — Regional School Unit 4 is holding its annual budget meeting 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at Oak Hill High School, where residents of Litchfield, Sabattus and Wales will have the opportunity to ask questions and vote on 10 articles comprising the proposed $21.3 million budget.

Residents can either approve or amend the funding totals for each article.

The $21.3 million budget is an 8.8% increase from the current spending plan of $19.5 million. Superintendent Andrew Carlton previously shared that $1.5 million of the $1.8 million increase, or roughly 80%, is due to salary and benefits.

The steep increase is rare for the district, according to data presented to the board of directors. In the past six years, the budget has risen by an average of just 0.67% each year.

Facilities maintenance will also see a large increase at $400,000 more, a rise of 14.7%, due to greater anticipated fuel and operation costs.

The only article with decreased funding is debt service at $18,000.

Carlton has said that there is very little, if anything, the district could do to reduce the budget further without cutting people and programs. The budget was unanimously approved by the RSU 4 board of directors in April.

More information about the proposed budget can be found on the RSU 4 website.

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