Voters in Augusta approved the $28.4 million school budget Tuesday by a 319-182 margin, with the total number of votes equaling less than 4 percent of the city’s registered voters.

The budget is up 2.7 percent from the current year and will require about $800,000 more in property taxes.

The school board approved the school budget in March, and councilors approved it as part of their approval of the overall $54.9 million city and school budget May 28. Councilors, in past years, have often directed the school board to make further cuts, but councilors, this year, did not do that.

The combined budget is expected to increase property taxes by 3.9 percent.

The school budget uses about $2 million from the schools’ fund balance account, which is generally made up of funds unspent in previous years. Officials warned, however, using that much of the fund means that money won’t be available in future years to help offset the impact on taxpayers.


Augusta officials anticipated the city’s schools will get about $1 million less in state funding than they expected when they first put the budget together.

The total budget includes $583,000 for adult education, $2.4 million for the middle school level, $8.9 million for elementary schools, $6 million for Cony High School, $2.3 million for Capital Area Technical Center, $4.6 million for system-wide services and $2.3 million in debt payments.

RSU 2 — Monmouth, Richmond, Farmingdale, Hallowell and Dresden

The $25.9 million proposed budget appeared to be heading toward passage Tuesday night. With all municipalities but Dresden reporting, 696 people had voted to approve the budget and 328 voted against it.

The budget is up approximately 2 percent, or $500,000, over the current year and would raise taxes by roughly 4 percent in each community.

The increase was driven by $550,000 more in required raises for employees; $200,000 more for medical treatment outlined in individualized education programs for certain special education students under Medicaid, the federal health care program for the poor; and $115,000 more for capital improvements. It also would move five teachers from part-time to full-time status and add $50,000 in spending on sports and other activities.


RSU 11 — Gardiner, Pittston, Randolph and West Gardiner

Voters Tuesday approved the $22.8 million budget by a 274-177 margin. West Gardiner, where residents voted 66-64 to reject the budget, was the only town to vote against it.

The budget, approved by residents at the regional district budget meeting May 26, is less than half a percent higher, or $95,000, than what voters approved last year when not including a grant for energy efficiency upgrades.

But an expected $500,000 drop in state aid contributed to proposed increases of around 5 percent in each community, leading to expected tax increases of between $48 and $60 for $100,000 of assessed value in the communities based on current tax rates.

RSU 12 — Chelsea, Whitefield, Windsor, Palermo, Somerville, Alna and Westport Island

Voters in the district’s seven towns voted Tuesday on a proposed $20.27 million budget, which is about 3 percent higher than the budget approved last year. Residents had adopted the proposed budget at the May 19 regional budget meeting. Results were not available Tuesday night.


If approved, some of the towns will see their shares increase more dramatically because a cost-sharing formula approved in 2012 is still being phased in. Somerville will see its contribution increase by 11.5 percent if the proposed budget is approved, Windsor’s share will increase by 11.1 percent and Palermo’s share will increase by 8.4 percent. Whitefield and Chelsea will both see their shares increase by around 3 percent, Alna’s share will drop by less than 1 percent and Westport Island’s share will drop by around 14 percent.

RSU 38 — Manchester, Mt. Vernon, Readfield and Wayne

Voters were asked Tuesday to ratify a nearly $16 million budget for the upcoming school year, adopted May 13 at a regional meeting. With Manchester and Readfield reporting, the vote to approve the budget was leading 549-311.

The total budget represents a 2.27 percent increase, or about $360,000, over this year’s budget.


Residents voted 311-99 Tuesday to approve the $10.8 million school budget, about $600,000 higher than the current one. But it will translate into just a $59,000 increase in property taxes thanks to an additional $400,000 the schools will receive from the state due in large part to increased enrollments.

The budget includes spending on key programs, including gifted and talented for kindergarten through 12th grade and foreign language at the elementary and middle schools.

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