FARMINGTON — The Regional School Unit 9 board of directors set a proposed $32,749,109 budget at their meeting Thursday. The new budget figures comes after voters rejected the board’s first budget proposal.

The new figure is 2.2 percent greater than last year’s budget and will amount in a decrease in local allocations for six of the district’s 10 towns.

Residents of RSU 9 towns will consider the proposed budget at a districtwide meeting at 7 p.m. July 14 in Bjorn Auditorium at the Mt. Blue Campus. The figure approved at the districtwide meeting then will go to a final validation vote July 28 in each of the district’s 10 towns.

Voters in six of the district’s 10 towns shot down a $32.97 million proposed budget June 14; the overall vote defeating the proposal was 1,757-1,518.

In the last two weeks, the board has been meeting twice a week to formulate a new budget.

The proposed budget figure set at Thursday’s meeting is $224,071 less than the budget rejected by voters. The reductions are about a 2.2 percent increase from last year’s budget, 0.7 percentage point less of an increase than the failed $32.97 million budget.

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The board was supposed to set a budget figure at its June 28 meeting, but like their June 23 and June 21 meetings, the meeting was dominated primarily by discussion rather than deliberations, and the board failed to reach a set figure.

Included in the cuts made Thursday were the elimination of one vacant education technician position, for a savings of $12,400; leaving a world language position at Mt. Blue Middle School vacant, a savings of $48,000; two retirements, totaling a $35,000 savings; reducing the stipend for the Mt. Blue High School assistant athletic director by $5,000; reducing the district’s contingency fund by $80,000; and getting a new HVAC contract, for a reduction of $25,000.

Also at the meeting, directors voted to rescind a vote they made at their June 23 meeting that would have allowed for negotiated contracts for district administrators to be reopened in order to cut $17,000 in set salary increases.

A 2.2 percent increase represents a decrease in local allocations for eight of the district’s towns.

If the proposed figure is approved by voters on July 28, Chesterville’s contribution compared to last school year would be a decrease of $17,384; Farmington, a decrease of $105,192; Industry, a decrease of $12,192; New Sharon, a decrease of $29,265; New Vineyard, a decrease of $1,843; Temple, a decrease of $19,195; Vienna, a decrease of $6,602; and Wilton, the largest decrease, $133,568.

Stark’s contribution would increase $16,447, which is $30,000 lower than what its allocation would have been if the $32.97 million were approved. For Weld, an increase of $30,654 would remain essentially the same, Ward said.

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This is the second year in a row that the board has had to go back to square one with devising a budget after voters rejected its initial figure. Last year, voters narrowly passed the $32.04 million budget at a second referendum in July. Voters at the first referendum in June rejected a proposed $32.25 million budget, by a vote of 1,045-741.

Lauren Abbate — 861-9252

[email protected]

Twitter: @Lauren_M_Abbate


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