FARMINGTON — A proposed $37.12 million budget for Regional School Unit 9 will go to a districtwide vote at 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 28, at the Mt. Blue Campus on Seamon Road. The spending plan covers education for prekindergarten through grade 12.

The amount approved by voters will go to a validation referendum Tuesday, June 11, at polling stations in Chesterville, Farmington, Industry, New Sharon, New Vineyard, Starks, Temple, Vienna, Weld and Wilton.

The proposal for 2019-20 represents a $1.57 million (4.44%)  increase over this fiscal year, which ends June 30.

The hike provides for teacher pay raises averaging 2.5% and support staff raises averaging 5%. It also reflects increased costs for books and supplies; a second-grade teacher at Cape Cod Hill School; a W.G. Mallett School teacher who is now paid through a grant; special education support; and a career counselor for Foster Career and Technical Education Center satellite sites.

Voters will also consider appropriating $422,733 and raising an additional $181,692 as the local share for adult education.

In the K-12 spending plan, district taxpayers would be responsible for raising $13.52 million, a $36,050 increase over this fiscal year.

If the proposed budget is approved, RSU 9 communities would face the following tax obligations: Chesterville, $1.06 million, an $8,723 increase; Farmington, $4.81 million, a $50,102 increase; Industry, $932,787, an $8,695 increase; New Sharon, $1.04 million, a $3,201 decrease; New Vineyard, $765,100, a $21,846 increase; Starks, $481,293, a $17,989 increase; Temple, $432,177, a $7,347 increase; Vienna, $730,547, an $8,559 increase; Weld, $496,254, a $27,352 decrease; and Wilton, $2.75 million, a $56,657 decrease.

In addition, voters at the budget meeting will be asked whether they favor the formation of a regional service center.  This question will be answered at the meeting and will not be part of the June 11 budget referendum vote.

The proposed Western Maine Regional Service Center will regionalize services such as professional development, gifted and talented support, a transportation routing system and weather service. Districts must use at least two options offered by the proposed center.

Other districts in the interlocal agreement are Spruce Mountain in Jay, Fayette, Lisbon, Mt. Abram in Salem Township, Carrabec, Rumford, Madison, Telstar in Bethel and Dirigo in Dixfield.

By joining the center, RSU 9 is expected to gain $104,000 in state subsidy.

RSU 9 spends $4 per student, or about $9,600, to be a member of the Western Maine Education Collaborative. Joining the regional service center would cost $3 per student for membership plus $1 per student for services. An additional $1 per student, or about $2,400, would be needed to remain a member of the collaborative.

If the proposed agreement is approved by the Maine commissioner of education, the service center would begin operation in July 2020.

Town assessments for the proposed $37.12 million Regional School Unit 9 budget for 2019-20.


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