FARMINGTON — The Regional School Unit 9 school board will meet once more at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Mt. Blue High School in hopes of finally hammering out a budget voters will approve.

The initially proposed $32.25 million budget — up $1.2 million from the previous year — was rejected in a districtwide referendum on June 9. The district includes Chesterville, Farmington, Industry, New Sharon, New Vineyard, Starks, Temple, Vienna, Wilton and Weld.

A savings of $26,000 was found at the June 30 meeting by cutting a math interventionist position. The school health coordinator position was cut in half for a savings of another $6,600, but too little too late into the night proved disappointing.

Board member Ross Clair of Chesterville questioned yet another lengthy meeting yielding few results asking, “Do we have any meat and potatoes where we’re going to make some cuts tonight?”

Indeed, since the initial budget was kicked back by the voters, the RSU 9 board has met in open session for more than five hours without agreeing on any substantial cuts, a problem Superintendent Tom Ward attributes to an already shoestring budget.

“This district has historically been very frugal,” Ward said at a June 25 meeting, noting that many line items haven’t had significant increases over the years.

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