POLAND — Regional School Unit 16 directors Monday approved a $29.3 million budget proposal for the coming fiscal year.

Submitted by the Budget Committee, it’s 6.9% more than this year’s $28.4 million. 

The increase is due to several factors, including higher contractual salaries, a smaller state subsidy, less carryover money from the previous year, and more capital improvements.

The locally funded portion of the budget increased by 25%, from $12 million this year to over $15 million for the the 2025 fiscal year that begins July 1.

Poland is footing most of the increase with $9.7 million, Mechanic Falls at $2.4 million, and Minot at $2.9 million. The anticipated percentages of increase for each town are: Poland, 26.5%; Mechanic Falls, 24.39%; and Minot, 20.75%.

If voters approve the budget, it would mean the owner of a home assessed at $100,000 would pay $202 more in Mechanic Falls, $171 more in Minot, and $248 more in Poland.


School board Chairperson Mary Martin said RSU 16 asked the Maine Department of Education and its Finance Department to check why the district would receive $750,000 less this coming year and was told it is due to higher property valuations in the three towns.

Superintendent Todd Sanders said no new positions were added and the increase in the capital expenditures was necessitated by lack of money in previous years for needed maintenance in all school facilities.

Sanders noted that the $10.2 million Master Lease Purchase Agreement to update the heating and air quality issues in the district’s three elementary schools is not part of the new budget. Costs associated with the HVAC projects will be in the 2026 fiscal year budget.

Sanders also spoke about the required warrant article to approve a $110,180 bond through the School Revolving Renovation Fund from the DOE. It would be pay for new accessibility ramps and bathroom modifications to comply with the Americans With Disabilities Act at Minot Consolidated School.

The bond is interest free. The state will pay $68,290, or 61.98%, and RSU 16 will pay $41,890, or 38.02%. The repayment is $8,375 a year for five years.

Twenty budget articles will be voted on by district residents at the budget meeting Tuesday at 6 p.m. in the auditorium at Poland Regional High School. Sanders said people who have concerns about the budget are urged to attend to see if the amounts can be changed.

The final budget vote will be held June 11 at polling places in each town.

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