Voters from the four towns in School Administrative District 49 will head to the polls on Tuesday for a referendum on a $25.4 million school budget.

The district covers the towns of Fairfield, Albion, Clinton and Benton. A $25.9 million budget proposed by the board was rejected by a majority of voters in all four towns in a ballot referendum May 18. The vote was 447-284 against the budget.

At the district budget meeting last Thursday, voters adopted a $25.4 million budget to send to the referendum. The budget is approximately 1.4 percent larger than last year’s spending plan.

To reduce the budget the board approved almost $428,000 in budget cuts including staff, extracurricular programs and administrative costs.

School Board Chairman Steve Grenier, of Albion, said Monday that he thinks the budget will pass, even if only marginally. Voters have told him that they appreciated that the board was willing to make the cuts they requested, he said.

“I feel like it’s going to pass,” Grenier said. “We’ve given them the cuts in the areas they asked.


The largest cuts included $142,000 from the facilities maintenance budget and more than $93,000 from the transportation budget. Extracurricular activities took an across the board cut of approximately $38,500.

School Board members have consistently blamed the district’s budget increases on state level actions, citing cost shifts, an increase in the required amount of local taxes for education and reductions in funding from the department of education.

Critics of the budget have said the board needs to come up with more creative ways to reduce education spending.

Polls will be held at town offices in Fairfield from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Clinton from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m., Benton from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Albion from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m.

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