Voters in 10 towns that comprise Regional School Unit 9 will go to the polls Thursday for a final validation vote on a proposed $32.75 million 2016-2017 school budget.

It is the second validation vote of the summer, after voters shot down the district’s initial $32.97 million proposal at the polls on June 14.

The $32,749,109 budget proposal was accepted as the figure to go to the polls by about 225 residents at a July 14 district wide meeting. If voters accept the budget Thursday, local allocations for eight of the district’s 10 towns will decrease.

The initial $32,973,180 budget proposal won approval at a June 1 district meeting, but the proposal ultimately failed by a vote of 1,757-1,518 at the polls.

Over the last month and a half, the RSU 9 board of directors worked to cut $224,071 from the initial budget plan. With the cuts, the $32.75 million proposal represents a 2.2 percent increase from last year’s budget. The initial budget proposal was a 2.9 percent increase from last year’s budget.

Board members were able to cut $224,071 from the failed budget by eliminating one vacant education technician position, for savings of $12,400; leaving a world language position at Mt. Blue Middle School vacant, $48,000; two retirements, totaling $35,000; 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 heating and air conditioning contract, for a reduction of $25,000.

If the budget is not passed, directors will have to come forth with a third budget proposal.

According to RSU 9 data, if the proposed figure is approved by voters Thursday, Chesterville’s contribution compared to last school year would decrease by $14,442; Farmington, $90,593; Industry, $10,408; New Sharon, $26,013; Temple, $17,777; Vienna, $4,425; Weld, $8,647; and Wilton, $124,249.

Starks’ contribution would increase $17,563, and New Vineyard’s share would edge up $339.

It is the second year in a row in which the district has held a second budget meeting after voters rejected the board’s 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.

The poll times and places on Thursday are: Chesterville, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Town Office; Farmington, 12:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the community center; Industry, 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Town Office; New Sharon, 12:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the Town Office; New Vineyard, 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Smith Hall; Starks, noon to 8 p.m. at the community center; Temple, 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Town Hall; Vienna, 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the fire station; Weld, 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Town Office; and Wilton, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Town Office.

Lauren Abbate — 861-9252

[email protected]

Twitter: @Lauren_M_Abbate


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