RSU 19’s $22.7 million budget fails

NEWPORT, Maine — With seven of the district’s eight towns reporting, Superintendent Gregory Potter said on Tuesday that the 2013-2014 budget for RSU 19 failed to pass.

Potter did not report figures because one town did not send in its vote numbers, however, a clerk said the budget failed in that town as well, he said.

“I am obviously quite disappointed in the results related to Article I,” Potter said in an email. “We worked very hard. We cut over $1.3 million, or nearly 6 percent, in operational spending, and then had to include the shift of $309,000 for the local district to pay for Maine State Retirement costs, where the state has been doing that in the past. We also had to include a $398,000 annual payment toward the $2.8 million general obligation bond in this budget. So, overall spending would be down nearly 3 percent, instead of 6 percent [without those extra costs].”

On May 28, about 75 voters in the district easily placed the $22.7 million budget during a district wide meeting on the referendum ballot for Tuesday.

Because the $22.7 million figure was approved during the district meeting, that number will be billed to area towns.

“The billings may be adjusted later, depending upon what is finally adopted,” said Potter.

Potter said the district now has 45 days to bring a new proposal up for a public meeting.

“We will go back to the drawing board,” he added.

A failure at the polls is nothing new for RSU 19. A stabilization loan for the district failed twice before a $2.8 million figure was approved in March.

The second article where voters could renew a budget referendum process for a further three years passed by a wide margin, said Potter. (Alex Barber, BDN)

Hermon passes all 22 warrant articles at school department budget meeting

About 55 residents passed all of the 22 warrant articles put before them Monday night during the annual school department budget meeting in the Hermon Middle School gym. Hermon school officials this year developed a $12,122,724 gross budget for 2013-14, according to information provided by municipal officials. Although the proposed education budget is about $375,000 less than the current one, it will require $4,160,450 in local tax dollars — up $206,950, or 5.2 percent, from this year’s local burden. The school budget will face its final approval hurdle when it moves on to the school budget validation referendum, which will take place on Tuesday, June 25, Also that day, Hermon residents will be asked if they want to continue the school budget validation process for another three years. The polls will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Hermon Elementary School gym. The annual town meeting is set for 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 27 at the Hermon High School auditorium. (Dawn Gagnon, BDN)

Glenburn OKs $8.46 million education budget

Glenburn residents voted 42-2 in favor of an $8.46 million education budget for the coming school year during their budget validation referendum Tuesday, Town Clerk Gayle Decker said.

The 2013-14 school budget — the town’s first since its vote in November to withdraw from RSU 26 — originally called for a local allocation of $2,362,037 and $1,265,170 in additional local funds, a decrease of $224,196 from this year, according to school budget documents posted on the RSU 26 website.

During last week’s annual town meeting, however, town councilors and school officials recommended — and voters approved — the shift of $113,000 from the school budget withdrawal contingency account to the town as a way to help stabilize the tax rate, Town Manager Crooker said at that time. (Dawn Gagnon, BDN)

Veazie approves first school budget since RSU 26 withdrawal

Veazie’s first school budget since its vote last November to withdraw from RSU 26 was approved Tuesday in a budget validation referendum conducted at the town office, Interim Town Manager Mark Leonard said.

Leonard said 133 voters came to the polls and that 90 voted to approve the budget, 42 votes against it and one ballot was left blank.

The $4.2 million gross budget for 2013-14 was developed by the transitional school committee the town appointed to oversee local education through July 1, when Veazie’s withdrawal from RSU 26 takes effect. The local share of the budget is slightly more than $2.8 million, down 6 percent from this year. (Dawn Gagnon, BDN)