Residents of Bingham and Moscow easily passed a $3.47 million school budget for the coming year in referendum voting Tuesday.

School Administrative District 13 board Chairman Leo Hill of Bingham said the final tally was 40-15 to pass the budget in Bingham and 28-8 to pass it in Moscow.

Hill said passing the budget on the first try was worth all the effort the board of directors put in crafting a spending package that appealed to the majority.

“Seventy-five percent voted in favor of it,” Hill said by phone Wednesday. “It was down 5%, which is pretty much unheard of lately in budgets.”

Hill said the board didn’t have to cut any teachers or any programs at the schools, and the voters were happy with that.

“It’s great,” Hill said. “Just doing it one time reduces the number of meetings the school board members have to go to and saves everybody and staff a lot of time and money. We’re happy that it went through the first time.”

In 2018, SAD 13 voters approved a spending package of $3,653,899, or about $154,200 more than the approved budget the previous year. In 2017, it took four separate votes to pass the school budget after residents rejected the proposed spending packages and pushed the final approval all the way into October, when it passed by just six votes at $3,499,635.

Moscow and Bingham residents decided in March to close the school Quimby Middle School in Bingham, seen here Feb. 28, which will save them money in the school budget for next year. Morning Sentinel file photo by Michael G. Seamans

The new spending package of $3,469,924, which takes effect July 1, represents a decrease in spending from last year’s budget by $183,975, SAD 13 Superintendent Virginia Rebar said this month. That is 5% lower than the $3.65 million budget approved last June, despite a $125,212 reduction in state subsidy.

The budget also represents a savings with the closing of the Quimby Middle School.

Rebar said the decision to close Quimby Middle School was a way of addressing declining enrollment and saving money. She said about $66,800 is projected to be saved by closing the school.

Quimby, the only middle school in School Administrative District 13, is poised to close this summer after residents in Bingham and Moscow voted in March to do so.

The current enrollment at Quimby is 45 students, but that number would have been expected to fall to 25 students by the 2023-24 school year.

In the last eight years, total enrollment in the district has dropped from 254 students to 179.

Rebar Morning Sentinel file photo

Once the school is closed, the district plans to move grade four to Moscow Elementary School, and grades five and six will move to Upper Kennebec Valley Memorial Junior Senior High School, which now houses grades seven through 12.

Rebar also announced this month that she will be retiring effective June 30 after nine years in SAD 13.

The school board has approved the nomination of Sandra MacArthur, of Madison, as a three-fifths superintendent for the 2019-20 school year. The board unanimously approved a contract for the coming year with MacArthur with a salary of $73,500.

Related Headlines


Comments are not available on this story.

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.