The Mount Blue school district budget was defeated, with six of the district’s 10 towns voting against it..

The final vote total was 1,757 against and 1,518 in favor.

The $32.97 million budget now goes back to the drawing board — the second time in two years voters rejected the budget at the first referendum. The 2015-16 $32.04 million budget was narrowly approved at a second referendum vote in July. Voters in Farmington, Industry, Starks and Weld approved the 2016-17 school year budget, but it was defeated in Chesterville, New Sharon, New Vineyard, Temple, Wilton and Vienna.

In Farmington, the vote was 666 yes and 571 no; in Industry, 74 yes, 69 no; Starks 69 yes, 9 no; Weld 42 yes, 39 no. Votes in the towns that defeated it were New Sharon 215 no, 107 yes; Chesterville 197 no, 59 yes; Temple, 69 no, 61 yes; Vienna 50 no, 48 yes; and New Vineyard, 129 no, 30 yes.

Voters were asked to validate the $32,973,180 budget that was given the first round of approval at the June 1 districtwide meeting. It represents a 2.9 percent increase over the current year’s budget and includes additional revenue that would be used to minimize the impact on local allocations. Four of the towns — Farmington, New Sharon, Temple and Wilton — would have had a decrease in their local allocation if it had been approved.


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Residents in Jackman and Moose River voted on a $2.24 million budget that was initially approved May 18.

Jackman voters shot down the budget with a vote of 62 to 82. Moose River results were not in Tuesday night.

The proposed $2.24 million budget is up less than 1 percent from the current $2.22 million budget, although the amount of money to be raised locally through taxation is up about 15 percent in both Jackman and Moose River. In order to keep taxes low, the district is putting on hold for the second year in a row a planned technical education program that would focus on forestry skills.

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Residents in Bingham and Moscow voted on a $3.4 million budget that is up less than one percent from the current one.


Moscow passed the budget by a vote of 32 to nine. Bingham results were not available Tuesday night.

Despite the small overall budget increase, the amount of money to be raised locally for the $3,459,508 budget is up about 7 percent in Bingham, though it is down about 12 percent in Moscow, a shift that is largely because of changes in enrollment, school officials said.

There are also changes in state funding with the district losing about $59,000 compared to last year, but savings are expected in health insurance and workers compensation, special education costs and from an increase in out-of-district tuition revenue last year. Overall the budget is up about $29,000 over the current budget and also includes cost of living raises for all teachers and staff.

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Voters in Fairfield, Albion, Benton and Clinton approved a $25.8 million budget.

Albion voters passed the budget 54 to 22. Clinton voters approved the budget with a vote of 412 to 197. Benton approved the budget by a vote of 96 to 67. Fairfield voters approved the budget with a vote of 181 to 74.


Voters in May accepted the school board’s recommendations on each article, approving a budget that is 1.27 percent higher than the current budget adopted last year after failed votes forced deeper cuts. To keep the budget increase under 2 percent, school board members had to cut five educational technician I positions and a teacher from the alternative education program.

The budget reflects a decrease in local property taxes of $77,985 despite a drop in state subsidy of about $267,000. The board applied $209,000 in state funding to limit the need for local property taxes in the coming year. The board also applied a $370,000 refund from the Maine Public Employees Retirement System to the budget.

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Voters in Canaan, Cornville, Mercer, Norridgewock, Smithfield and Skowhegan approved a $33,974,794 budget that is 0.67 percent lower than the current budget in part because of a $15 million statewide subsidy authorized in legislation signed by the governor in April giving SAD 54 an extra $194,564 because of the hardship of losing value and taxes from Sappi Fine Paper.

Canaan approved the budget with a vote of 61 to 37. Cornville voted 84 to 31 in favor of the budget. Mercer approved the budget with a close vote of 18 to 11. Norridgewock approved the budget with a vote of 79 to 11. Skowhegan residents voted 545 to183 in favor of the budget. Smithfield voted 53 to 15 in favor of the budget.

Local spending to fund the budget comes in at $13,381,121. Only the town of Cornville will be asked to contribute more to the district budget in the coming year with a 0.51 percent increase in its share. Local spending in the towns of Canaan, Mercer, Norridgewock, Skowhegan and Smithfield will decrease.


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Residents Avon, Kingfield, Strong and Phillips passed a $9.19 million budget that is down 2.3 percent from the current budget, for a total decrease of $215,943.

The final vote total was 203 to 42, with Kingfield voters aproving the budget 65 yes, 3 no; Strong 72 yes, 20 no; Avon, 28 yes, 4 no; Phillips, 38 yes, 15 no.

Local contributions from each of the district’s towns show an across the board decrease in the $9.19 million budget. With approval, Avon’s assessment will decrease 1 percent to a total contribution of $421,410; Kingfield’s assessment will decrease 2.35 percent to a total contribution of $1,404,401; Strong’s assessment will decrease 1.37 percent to a total contribution of $873,121; and Phillips’ assessment will decrease 0.2 percent to a total contribution of $844,233.


Town residents considered a $7.37 million school budget, which is a 3.25 percent increase from last year’s. The difference, about $232,000, is mostly because of salary increases and increased insurance costs, said Eric Haley, superintendent of Alternative Organizational Structure 92, the school district that covers Vassalboro Community School. The difference is only going to cost $38,234 more in local taxes though, Haley said, because of a $150,947 increase in state funding.

The other schools in AOS 92 are Waterville and Winslow and the numbers for those two communities have not been finalized.

This story will be updated.

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