GARDINER — After it emerged untouched at a regional meeting on Tuesday, Regional School Unit 11 will send a budget to the June ballot box that would raise property taxes by as much as 6 percent.

The $22.8 million budget for Regional School Unit 11, the district serving Gardiner, West Gardiner, Pittston and Randolph, would be $348,000 — or 1.6 percent — more than the current budget. However, taxpayers are being asked to pay $480,000 more, largely because of a $500,000 drop in state aid.

The school board’s recommended budget ran into little opposition from about 45 voters at the district’s regional meeting on Tuesday evening at Gardiner Area High School — the budget’s final step before the June 9 election.

If passed, the budget would result in tax increases of 4.5 percent to 6.3 percent in the district’s communities, with officials saying Gardiner taxpayers would pay nearly $52 more in taxes on a $100,000 home. It would be nearly $60 more in West Gardiner, nearly $49 more in Randolph and more than $45 more in Pittston.

Becky Fles of Gardiner, chairwoman of RSU 11’s board, called it “a very tight budget” tailored to accommodate a high share of district residents who live on fixed incomes.

“So when we create a budget, would we like to have more bells and whistles? Of course,” she said. “But we also realize that any budget we put out has to pass the straight-face test.”


The budget included a $265,000 cut from maintenance and facilities, also calling for $270,000 more in contracted salary increases that are offset by a decrease in health insurance costs, three more education technicians at district elementary schools and the elimination of three vacant teaching positions.

RSU 11 is also planning $3.6 million in energy-saving projects in the next year, but it didn’t require extra money because the district chose Siemens to do a performance contract allowing the district to fund the improvements through energy or fuel savings.

Michael Shepherd — 370-7652

[email protected]

Twitter: @mikeshepherdme

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