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SAD 41 board moves $8.5M budget to June 19 district meeting

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MILO — The SAD 41 board of directors approved a proposed budget of $8,500,571 for the 2017-18 academic year during a meeting on June 7 at the Penquis Valley School.

The board also scheduled the district budget meeting for Monday, June 19 at 6 p.m. at Penquis Valley in the gymnasium, with an information session before at 5:30 p.m. The total figure approved across the warrant articles on Monday evening will be moved to a referendum in the SAD 41 towns of Atkinson, Brownville, LaGrange and Milo on Thursday, June 29 for either a “yes” or a “no” vote.

“This is another step that we have to take, the public is welcome,” Board Chair Arthur Herbest said about the district budget meeting. “We tried and tried to get this on the 13th but with the numbers coming out of Augusta it was impossible,” he added about efforts to include the SAD 41 2017-18 budget vote on the June 13 state ballot in the four district towns.

The $8,500,571 figure represents an increase of just over $181,500 more than the current year’s budget of a little more than $8,319,000.

The combined total local contributions between the four SAD 41 communities is $2,582,104, just over $297,000 more than the year before. Atkinson’s $272,498 contribution in the proposed 2017-18 SAD 41 budget is up by $33,590, Brownville’s $730,106 share is $88,642 more than for the current year, LaGrange would see a $39,568 increase to a figure of $409,982 and for the Milo the community’s share of the 2017-18 spending plan would be $1,169,517 to equal an increase of $135,296.

Superintendent Michael Wright said the week before the board met for a special meeting on June 1 to discuss the budget but final approval would not be decided until the June 7 regular monthly meeting of the directors. He said the week before the school board did approve a motion that in the event of additional subsidies coming in, the directors can make use of these funds in the budget however they deem to be the best fit.

The school board meetings are normally held on the first Wednesday of the month at 7 p.m. at Penquis Valley, but in July the directors opted to schedule their session for Wednesday, July 12 instead of the day after the Fourth of July.

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