WALES — Voters on Tuesday approved a $21 million budget for the next school year.

Wales voters approved the budget 86 to 59.

Sabattus voters approved it 231 to 123.

Litchfield voters approved it 239 to 229.

In total, 57% of voters across the three towns voted in support of the budget.

All three towns also voted to continue the use of the budget validation process.

“It’s the best budget we could put forward that the community can support,” said Robert English, board of directors chairperson. English added the budget does not include everything they wanted and that a significant amount in the budget goes to contractual raises and benefits for teachers and staff. He said the district has not kept up with prevailing wages for years and that is “time to pay the piper.”

The proposed 2023 fiscal year budget is $21,291.591, which is a slight increase over the current budget of $19,557,484. For Litchfield residents, it represents a 1.3% rise, Sabattus residents a 2.0% increase and a 1.8% increase for residents in Wales.

Later this summer, the school district will ask voters to fund a proposal to add a wing to Oak Hill Middle School as part of a consolidation effort to close two older schools in need of significant repairs and upgrades. Sabattus primary school and Libby Tozier primary school in Litchfield would close upon completion of the new wing at Oak Hill, planned for completion for the 2025-2026 school year.

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