The school district that includes Litchfield, Wales and Sabattus will hold a vote on a proposed $18.79 million school budget on Sept. 21.

It will be the third proposed budget sent to district voters for approval this summer and the fourth time the district has called a referendum. A vote on the latest budget proposal originally was scheduled for Sept. 6, but on Sept. 2, Regional School Unit 4 officials announced they were postponing the vote because one town had failed to post a warrant.

“The law requires seven days of advance notice to the residents prior to a vote physically taking place,” Superintendent Jim Hodgkin wrote in a letter to voters. “Therefore, with only two of the three towns having posted the warrant, the RSU 4 School Board has no choice but to postpone the vote.”

At the time, Hodgkin declined to name the town that hadn’t posted a warrant.

But a Litchfield official, Selectman Tim LaChapelle, said it was Litchfield that did not post the warrant ahead of the referendum vote. He did not know the reason.

In interviews and public comments throughout the summer, some voters and local officials — from Litchfield, in particular — have criticized the district’s budget proposals, arguing they should be at least $100,000 lower.

But those who support the budget proposal have argued that it will be impossible to make further cuts without reducing the programming they’re able to offer students.

This isn’t the first time in recent years when voters have rejected the RSU 4 budget through the latter part of summer. In 2015, voters in June defeated the original budget by about 30 votes, requiring another vote in July. And in 2013, voters rejected the budget twice before giving it final approval in August of that year.

This year, district residents have rejected two earlier budget proposals. In June, they rejected by just 18 votes an $18.9 million budget that was up 1.84 percent from the 2015-2016 budget. In July, they rejected a budget that was $100,000 lower. The latest budget proposal stands at $18.79 million, after Hodgkin volunteered to remove $7,000 from his own salary.

Charles Eichacker — 621-5642

[email protected]

Twitter: @ceichacker

Augusta and Waterville news

Get news and events from your towns in your inbox every Friday.


  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.