Voters in seven towns approved Regional School Unit 12’s $23 million fiscal year 2020 budget by a wide margin on Tuesday.

Despite two towns rejecting the budget locally, the combined tally of all member towns — Alna, Chelsea, Palermo, Somerville, Westport Island, Whitefield and Windsor — easily passed the article with a 447-223 vote.

The second article for RSU 12, which kept the same budget referendum procedure in place for the next three years, was approved by a 431-169 margin.

Voters in Chelsea and Somerville voted 58-70 and 39-51, respectively, to reject the budget. The rest of the towns approved the budget by large margins; Alna residents voted, 49-1, Palermo residents voted 24-4, Westport Island residents voted 66-14, Whitefield residents voted 49-9 and Windsor residents voted 162-74.

The $23,022,981 spending plan is $799,689 — or 3.6% — more than the current budget’s $22.22 million. The largest spending increase is for tuition the district pays out for high school students. Because RSU 12 doesn’t have a high school, its students attend area schools, and the district pays tuition. In the proposed budget, the district is estimating $4,850,868 in tuition for high schoolers, a $356,978 — or 7.94% — increase from the current spending plan.

The district will offset the $23 million spending plan with $10,914,611 in state subsidies and other revenue, $392,885 — or a 3.73% increase — over last year’s revenue. Municipalities must make up a total of $12.1 million, and each town pays $13.750 per student it adds to the district.

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The breakdown per member town:

• Alna is projected to pay $969,050, an increase of $12,586.88 — or 1.3% — from the current $956,464.

• Chelsea is projected to pay $2,477,835, an increase of $137,434 — or 5.87% — from the current $2,340,401.

• Palermo is projected to pay $1,880,229, an increase of $10,432 — or 0.55% — from the current $1,869,797.

• Somerville is projected to pay $640,490, an increase of $29,977 — or 4.9% — from the current $610,513.

• Westport Island is projected to pay $750,115, an increase of $33,883 — or 4.7% — from the current $716,232.

• Whitefield is projected to pay $2,268,630, an increase of $43,422 — or 1.95% — from the current $2,225,208.

• Windsor is projected to pay $3,122,019, an increase of $139.068 — or 4.66% — from the current $2,982,951.


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