RSU 68 school board approves near $11.8M budget

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SEBEC — The RSU 68 school board approved a proposed budget for the 2019-20 academic year totaling $11,784,238 during a May 7 meeting at the Harland A. Ladd Municipal Building. This figure is up by nearly $225,000 (1.94 percent) from the current approximate $11.6 million spending plan.

The directors also scheduled the annual district budget meeting and validation referendum. “It would be May 28, the informational meeting at 6 o’clock and the district budget meeting would be at 6:30 p.m.,” Superintendent Stacy Shorey said, with the session being held at the SeDoMoCha School on the final Tuesday of the month.

She said the budget validation referendum would be on Tuesday, June 11 with the total budget approved on May 28 being moved to a referendum vote in the four towns for residents of Charleston, Dover-Foxcroft, Monson and Sebec for either a “yes” or “no” to make a district-wide decision.

During the April school board meeting Shorey said the budget has been developed over the last several months with those involved operating under guiding principles of “really to balance what’s best for the students while being fiscally responsible” and making the budget reflect the mission of the district.

She said the state contribution is down by about $142,000 (1 percent) to a figure of a little more than $6.3 million. Shorey said there are seven fewer students than in 2018-19, with most of the loss at the pre-K level.

Under the proposed 2019-20 budget the four RSU 68 communities have a combined local assessment of $4,704,087 for 2019-20, a $69,518 increase (1.5 percent) from the current year. The assessment is made up of local contributions, additional local monies and funding for adult education.

The four total proposed assessments are each up, with Charleston’s rising $11,288 to $639,806; Dover-Foxcroft’s share up by $34,191 to $2,814,827; Monson would see a $12,786 assessment increase for a total of $577,530; and for Sebec a $671,922 figure is $11,252 more than in 2018-19.

In other business, Board Chair Jenny Chase read aloud a letter from Gordon Contracting Owner/President Brian Howard and his wife Samanatha. The Sangerville company paved the revamped SeDoMoCha parking lot over the summer, and after the first few days of school some of the alignment needed to be redone to remedy some issues during pick-up times.

The letter said the additional work totaled $41,340, but instead of passing the cost onto RSU 68 Gordon Contracting would be donating this work.

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