Near $6.88M SAD 4 budget set for Aug. 29 referendum

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GUILFORD — A proposed $6,879,013 budget for the 2017-18 school year was approved — with all 20 articles ending up being passed as written over 45 minutes with nearly 60 registered voters present — during a district budget meeting on Aug. 24 at Piscataquis Community Elementary School.

The near $6.88 million budget is now moved to a referendum in the SAD 4 towns of Abbot, Cambridge, Guilford, Parkman, Sangerville, and Wellington on Tuesday, Aug. 29 with residents of the half dozen communities voting either “yes” or “no” to make a district-wide decision on the 2018 budget.

The total $6,879,013 spending plan for 2017-18 matches the figure for the previous academic year — which was the fourth budget brought to SAD 4 citizens from May to November of 2016. In June a proposed 2017-18 budget of $6,890,304 was voted down via a count of 297-213 across the half dozen towns.

“The budget committee met a few weeks ago and we received about $201,000 more in state subsidy,” Interim Superintendent Ray Freve said. “They took all the extra revenue to lower the towns’ assessments, 100 percent.”

In the first version of the 2017-18 budget SAD 4 was faced with a $750,642 reduction in state subsidy. After the $201,512 has been applied, the reduction is $549,130 to a sum of $2,251,367 from just over $2.8 million in state subsidy in 2016-17.

The local share of the spending plan totals $3,889,995, an increase of $217,183 or a little more than $201,500 less than the near $430,000 increase that was part of the first proposed 2017-18 budget.

Five of the six towns would see a rise in assessments in the proposed 2017-18 budget with Abbot’s share up by $35,019 to $744,895; Cambridge’s share is up $14,992 to $247,781; Guilford’s share is up $73,800 to $1,280,910; Parkman’s share is up $48,307 to $602,139; and Sangerville’s share is up $45,339 to $819,967. For Wellington, a $276 decrease puts the community’s portion of the SAD 4 budget at $194,300.

The town assessments, which are based on state valuation and pupil counts, are made up of a combined $3,108,195 in local required monies, $737,450 in local additional funds across the half dozen district communities, and SAD 4’s portion of the Piscataquis Valley Adult Education Cooperative expenses. The district is responsible for about $44,350 of the near $420,500 adult education budget.

Each component of the near $3,890,000 in town assessments was passed via individual articles. The local required amount passed 44-9, local additional funds were OKed at 44-15, and another 44-15 tally approved the total of $6,879,013.

The SAD 4 school board is scheduled to meet next on Wednesday, Aug. 30 — the day after the referendum — at 7 p.m. at the elementary school.

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