OAKLAND — Residents of the five communities in Regional School Unit 18 approved the $37.58 million education budget for 2018-19 in Tuesday’s referendum.

Oakland passed the budget 807-366 with 25 blank ballots, Sidney 596-300, Rome 163 to 64, Belgrade 560-178 and China 622-239.

The spending plan, which was given initial approval by voters at the district’s annual budget meeting, is $1,347,294, or 3.72 percent more than the current fiscal year’s budget. The increase is being driven largely by the payments the district will make on the principal and interest of the $13.9 million bond voters approved in November.

The Oakland-based district is using $10 million of the bond to finance facilities work, including getting its 11 buildings up to state fire safety standards. The bond also is financing the construction of a $3.9 million athletic complex that will include lighting, an eight-lane track, renovation to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act and a multi-sport artificial turf field.

The combined payments will total $1,989,334 for the fiscal year.

Staff writer Colin Ellis contributed to this report

Emily Higginbotham — 861-9239

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Twitter: @EmilyHigg