Voters approved a $2 million spending plan for Fayette Elementary School and $756,479 municipal budget Saturday at Town Meeting.

Fayette approved having the school department join the Western Maine Regional Service Center, which covers Androscoggin, Franklin and Oxford counties.

Developed by the Maine Department of Education, an RSC is a multi-service agency composed of area school districts, giving them the opportunity to pool resources, such as transportation, substitute teachers, professional development for teachers and summer schooling.

School spending is up 2.89% this year. The accepted budget for 2019-2020 is $2,051,238. It’s a $57,722 increase of the current fiscal budget of $1,993,516.

The school has about 75 students in kindergarten through fifth grade. Starting in sixth grade, Fayette students attend schools in Winthrop, Spruce Mountain or in Regional School Unit 38 in accordance with agreements between the districts. They also can attend Kents Hill School, in Readfield, at the state rate or School Administrative District 9 by a special superintendent agreement.

Residents also approved a 10-year, $100,000 bond to fund renovation and repair at Starling Hall.

The nonprofit organization Friends of Starling Hall will pay off the bond, so the expense is not anticipated to come from taxpayers.

If the group could not pay off the debt, however, the town would be responsible for doing so.

The interest on the bond is expected to cost $23,252 at a fixed 3.99% interest rate, making the total debt $123,252. The annual payment would be $12,325.

The hall was built in the 1870s and formerly was Starling Grange 156. In 2017, the building was raised off its foundation and set back from Route 17. The Friends group was formed in 2014 after residents voted at Town Meeting to keep the hall rather than sell it.

The municipal spending plan is $50,570 less than last year’s — a 6.26% decrease from the current $807,049 budget.

Fayette’s 2018-2019 tax rate is $18.05 per $1,000 of assessed property. Taxes on a $150,000 home would cost $2,707.50 before any exemptions.

On Tuesday, Fayette voters re-elected Lacy Badeau and Nancy Cronin to fill two Selectboard seats for three-year terms. No other candidates ran.

They also voted for Teresa Harrington, who was unopposed, to serve on the School Committee for a three-year term.


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