FARMINGTON — The Regional School Unit 9 district will be holding its annual budget meeting on Tuesday, May 21, to discuss and vote on the upcoming 2024/2025 fiscal budget. The meeting will begin at 7 p.m. and take place in the Bjorn Auditorium, which is located on Mt. Blue Campus at 129 Seamon Road in Farmington.

Currently, the district is projecting a total of exactly $45,155,670, which is an 8.26% [or $3,445,002] increase over the previous year’s budget [$41,710,668 for 2023/2024]. Superintendent Christian Elkington has stated at several budget meetings with the board of directors that the taxpayers will only be accountable for 4.45%, with the remaining 3.78% of budgetary increases to be pulled from different sources including the Balance-Forward account.

The Balance-Forward account is one of several topics Elkington hopes to communicate with the public as the account is utilizing $2,980,000 to offset various budget items. According to Elkington the account is made up of previous budget savings by applying a three-year system-plan to reduce possible tax increases.

From the account, $250,000 will be used to create a building renovation account for a building renovation fund set for 2027/2028; $250,000 will be put towards reserve account increases; $1,045,000 for new long-term and one year positions, including three teaching and three education technician positions; $385,000 for building and grounds projects for 2024/2025, including unfinished work at the Bjorn Center for Career and Technical Education; and $1,050,000 was put towards reducing taxes for the budget.

Elkington gave a rundown on how the budget meeting will work for the new board members at the RSU 9 board of directors meeting on Tuesday, May 14. He shared Paul Mills will serve as moderator once again.

Director Wayne Kinney shared the last time a budget was voted down by the public was in 2017 and he has not seen a budget have to go to a second vote since then.

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At the meeting, Elkington also stated the district has released its budget review, which includes the 22 different articles that will be voted on at the budget meeting. Among them is Article 16, which is the proposed budget for adult education. The district proposes $599,956 for adult education, which is an increase of 11.59% over the previous year [$537,642].

It also includes the proposed assessment increase for each town, and they are as follows:

• Chesterville: $1,149,680 [4.92% increase]

• Farmington: $5,267,884 [4.57% increase]

• Industry: $1,086,453.77 [4.76% increase]

• New Sharon: $1,146,385.50 [1.78% increase]

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• New Vineyard: $888,709.63 [1.75% increase]

• Starks: $592,845.96 [3.84% increase]

• Temple: $510,138.30 [1.28% increase]

• Vienna: $805,156.85 [3.35% increase]

• Weld: $731,480.75 [9.11% increase]

• Wilton: $2,914,707.97 [3.38% increase]

• TOTAL: $15,093,444

Towns will vote on the budget referendum in the upcoming primary election on Tuesday, June 11. For more information on the RSU 9 budget visit mtbluersd.org.

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