Voters on Wednesday passed the Regional School Unit 4 budget, putting in place an $18.79 million spending plan after the first two attempts at gaining voter approval failed.

The budget passed 361-227, according to the superintendent’s office. All three towns — Litchfield, Sabattus and Wales — approved the budget. The latest proposal was $107,000 lower than the $18.9 million budget that was first sent to voters in June.

One of the reasons for the proposed increase in this year’s budget was a $422,014 reduction in the amount of state aid to the district for the 2017 school year. The budget proposal also included a $341,711 increase for, among other things, a bus, textbooks, technology investments and a new dean of students position that was meant to address an increase in problematic behavior by students.

Voters in June and July rejected earlier RSU 4 budget proposals and demanded reductions.

This isn’t the first time in recent years when voters have taken a few months to approve an RSU 4 budget. In 2015, voters in June defeated the original budget by about 30 votes, requiring another vote in July. In 2013, voters rejected the budget twice before giving it final approval in August of that year.

In June of this year, RSU 4 voters also approved a measure to keep sending the school budget to residents for a validation vote for the next three years.

In voting Wednesday, Litchfield approved the budget 118-107; Sabattus voted 137-94; and Wales voted 106-26.


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