DIXFIELD — Voters from the four towns of Regional School Unit 56 approved the $13.21 million spending plan for 2022-23 by a total of 595-254.

Canton voted 116-39, Carthage 38-18, Dixfield 224-101 and Peru 217-96 in favor of the new budget.

RSU 56 school board director Barbara Chow of Dixfield maintained her seat for a three-year term while Elizabeth Kelly of Dixfield will take director Angela Varnum’s seat, as Varnum did not seek reelection. Votes were Chow 194, Kelly 193, and Laurie Woodhead 141.

The budget for the coming fiscal year beginning July 1 is $240,361 more than this year’s $12.97 million. Negotiated increases in salaries are estimated at $85,983, with most employee groups receiving a 2% pay increase, while teachers and administrators will receive 3.2% and 2.5% increases, respectively.

Voters also approved up to $112,000 for a new bus and moving up to $500,000 to a capital reserve account for a new bus garage, backed at the district’s annual budget meeting on May 24 at Dirigo High School in Dixfield.

Some increases in the 2022-23 budget noted at the budget meeting by Superintendent Pam Doyen were for out-of-district placement for special education students, building insurance, heating oil, gas and diesel fuel.

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