Voters in the four towns that make up Regional School Unit 38 — Manchester, Mount Vernon, Readfield and Wayne — will weigh in on a proposed budget of almost $16.5 million Wednesday.

The annual budget meeting to vote on the 19 articles on the warrant is set for 7 p.m. at Maranacook Community High School.

School Committee Chairwoman Teri Watson said the proposed 2016-2107 budget is 3.26 percent greater than the current year’s.

“There are no new initiatives, but we are repairing roofs on Manchester and Readfield elementary schools, and that’s where most of the budget increase comes from,” Watson said Tuesday.

Approval of the school budget Wednesday night would send it to all the voters in the district on June 14 in a budget validation referendum where they get to vote it up or down.

“It’s never been voted down in this district,” Watson said.

She also said that the only citizen comment received on the budget so far was a request that it be increased.

“It’s been a good year,” she said.

An update from the school board’s budget meeting April 13 indicates that the original request from the superintendent was for almost $17 million. However, the board eliminated almost $400,000 in repair and maintenance projects, among other things, and did not add volleyball, archery and robotics to the middle school after-school program.

The board also cut a proposed increase in hours for some staff members and declined to buy some equipment. The district will receive $292,000 less in state subsidy this year.

Watson said that’s a continuing trend in state support.

“This year we’re getting almost $3 million less than the district received 10 years ago from the state,” Watson said.

Supporting the proposed budget would require the following amounts from the member towns: $2.5 million in Manchester; $2 million in Mount Vernon; almost $2.2 million in Readfield and $1.4 million in Wayne.

The four towns send a total of 1,165 students to the schools, according to information in the district’s annual report published in May 2016.

The budget was adopted unanimously by the RSU 38 board of directors on April 13.

Information about the budget, including a video of the budget workshop, is available on the district’s website at www.maranacook.org/.

Betty Adams — 621-5631

[email protected]

Twitter: @betadams


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