MINOT — Voters ratified the proposed Regional School Unit 16 budget of nearly $25.9 million Tuesday by a vote of 192-63.

The school budget for Mechanic Falls, Minot and Poland passed an initial vote at a district meeting in May, but needed a second vote Tuesday to implement the budget for the upcoming school year.

The proposed budget represents a $1.63 million increase over the current fiscal year, or 6.74% higher than the $24.25 million budget for 2021-22.

The second question on the ballot, whether voters wanted to continue with a two-vote system for approving the RSU 16 budget, with a bottom-line referendum a month after the school district meeting vote, passed 173-79.

The third question on the ballot asked voters whether they wanted the town to earmark $150,000 from the federal American Rescue Plan Act for expansion of broadband internet services by Charter Spectrum to the south-central section of town, reaching 114 homes. That vote passed 221-37.

Town officials said the broadband expansion would cost roughly $338,000, according to Town Administrator Danielle Loring. The town is seeking to have Androscoggin County pick up the $188,000 difference not covered by the federal funds. The county’s portion would be paid through its American Rescue Plan Act funds, if the county were to agree to chip in.

Ballot question No. 4 asked voters whether the town should spend $188,000 from its undesignated fund balance if the county were to decline to contribute to the cost of broadband expansion. Voters approved  190-68.

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