FARMINGTON — Regional School Unit 9 voters on Tuesday approved the proposed $37.12 million budget for 2019-20.

It now goes to a validation referendum June 11 in the district’s 10 towns.

The spending plan is $1.57 million, or 4.44%, more than this fiscal year, which ends June 30.

Due to changes in state valuation, the impact of the proposal on local taxes averages an increase of .27%, Superintendent Tina Meserve said.

“Your attendance and participation tonight are greatly appreciated,” board Chairwoman Cherieann Harrison of Wilton told voters at the Mt. Blue Campus. “It is important to remember we are a collaborative community of 10 towns and have come together to fund the education of our children.”

“This has been an exciting year to be chair,” she added. “When other districts are seeing a decrease in enrollment, we are seeing an increase. We are thrilled to know young families are moving to our district.”

Meserve said the proposed budget would provide for teacher pay raises averaging 2.5% and support staff raises averaging 5%.

“We are not at the area average for staff salary,” she said. “Our goal is to have competitive salaries for our teaching staff and support staff.”

The budget hike 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, she added.

Nearly 200 voters quickly moved through the warrant and passed articles without discussion. Ronald Aseltine of Wilton was moderator.

Polling hours for the RSU 9 validation vote on June 11 are:

• Chesterville: Noon to 8 p.m., Town Office;

• Farmington: Noon to 7 p.m., Community Center;

• Industry: 2 to 8 p.m., Town Office;

• New Sharon: Noon to 7 p.m., Town Office;

• New Vineyard: 1 to 7 p.m., Smith Hall;

• Starks: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Community Center;

• Temple: 1 to 7 p.m., Town Hall;

• Vienna: 2 to 8 p.m., Fire Station;

• Weld: 4 to 8 p.m., Town Office;

• Wilton: 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., Town Office.

Voters also approved the formation of Western Maine Regional Service Center, which will not be part of the budget referendum vote.

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

If the agreement is approved by the Maine Commissioner of Education, the service center would begin operation in July 2020.


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