Voters in the 10 towns that comprise Regional School Unit 9 narrowly passed a $32.75 million school budget at the polls on Thursday.

The $32,749,109 budget passed by a vote of 1,325-1,288 in the second validation vote of the summer. On June 14, voters shot down an initial $32.97 million 2016-2017 school budget proposal by a vote of 1,757-1,518.

The budget passed in seven of the district’s towns, with Farmington voting in favor of the budget 575-400; Industry, 51-46; Starks, 88-6; Temple, 70-58; Vienna, 48-34; Weld, 21-12; and Wilton, 282-262.

Voters in New Sharon rejected the budget by a vote of 94-203, voters in Chesterville rejected it by a vote of 70-166, and voters in New Vineyard rejected the budget 26-101.

The $32.75 million budget represents a 2.2 percent increase over last year’s school budget. Because of an increase in the district’s revenue for the 2016-2017 school year, local allocations in eight of the district’s 10 towns will be down from last year.

According to RSU 9 data, Chesterville’s contribution compared to last school year will decrease by $14,442; Farmington, $90,593; Industry, $10,408; New Sharon, $26,013; Temple, $17,777; Vienna, $4,425; Weld, $8,647; and Wilton, $124,249.

Starks’ contribution will increase $17,563, and New Vineyard’s share would edge up $339.

Residents at a July 14 districtwide meeting gave initial approval to the $32.75 million budget, which represents $224,071 in cuts made by RSU 9 directors from the initial budget proposal.

At the polls on Thursday, Farmington resident Ellie Duley said she voted in favor of the $32.75 million budget on Thursday; she also voted in favor of the rejected $32.97 million proposal in June.

“Education is the future,” Duley said. “If we want our students to be competitive and knowledgeable about the world, we need to have music, we need to have language. It’s a global world.”

Michelle and Les Pepper, of Farmington, also cast their ballots in favor of the budget proposal and echoed Duley’s sentiments on public education’s essential role.

“We need money in education,” Les Pepper said.

This is the second year in a row that RSU 9 voters went to the polls twice in a budget season in order for a proposal to be passed. Last year, voters narrowly passed the $32.04 million budget at a second referendum in July. Voters at the first referendum in June rejected a proposed $32.25 million budget, by a vote of 1,045-741.

Lauren Abbate — 861-9252

[email protected]

Twitter: @Lauren_M_Abbate