WINSLOW — Voters from Vassalboro, Waterville and Winslow will soon be asked to approve a budget for the 2012-2013 school year that’s increased just over 6 percent.

A public meeting will be held at 6 p.m. Wednesday at Winslow Junior High School, 6 Danielson St., to discuss the budget proposed by Alternative Organizational Structure 92. The budget calls for a 6.29 percent increase, or $104,906, over the current spending plan.

Eric Haley, superintendent of AOS 92, said 90 percent of the total budget goes toward employee salaries and benefits, and the overall increase will be applied solely toward those expenses.

AOS 92, in which the three communities share costs for a central office and top administrators, has 18 employees, Haley said.

Projected costs will rise by $65,102 for system administrators, $31,546 for transportation and $8,256 for special education, according to the proposal.

The total proposed budget is $1.7 million. Under the proposal, Vassalboro’s share is $320,182; Waterville’s is $857,367; and Winslow’s is $585,863. The 6.29 percent increase is driven by cost changes to last year’s budget, Haley said.

“We only projected a 1 percent increase in salaries (in 2011-2012), but the AOS board gave employees a 3.5 percent increase,” he said.

The 2012-2013 budget proposal reflects the salary increase from last year, plus adds another 3 percent increase in anticipation of future wage negotiations, he said.

Ron Whary, chairman of the AOS 92 board, said the budget proposal aims to anticipate costs unknown costs, such as salaries, insurance, the results of town meetings. The budgeting schedule, which is mandated by law, is imperfect, he said.

“It’s not an ideal way to do business, but the state law is such that we have to have the budget approved before we even know what the exact budget is going to be for the individual communities,” Whary said. “It’s a very difficult situation to be in. As far as I’m concerned, and it’s just my opinion, it’s a very poor law.”

Salary negotiations won’t be completed until January or February, and insurance costs won’t be know until March or April, Whary said.

“It’s a crazy way to do a budget,” he said. “You’re approving a budget in December, which probably shouldn’t be approved until April or May.”

Paula Pooler, finance director for AOS 92, said the proposed budget is lean.

“This budget doesn’t have anywhere to go if it’s cut, other than to lose people,” she said.

Ben McCanna — 861-9239

[email protected]

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