SAD 4 directors approve near $7.2M budget

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GUILFORD — The SAD 4 school board approved a proposed budget for the 2019-20 academic year totaling $7,174,825 during a May 14 meeting at Piscataquis Community High School. This figure is up by nearly $87,800 (1.239 percent) from the current spending plan totaling a little less than $7.1 million.

The directors also scheduled the annual district budget meeting and validation referendum. The district meeting will start at 7 p.m. on Thursday, May 30 at Piscataquis Community Elementary School with an information session beforehand at 6 p.m. The total approved that evening will be moved to a referendum on Tuesday, June 11 as residents of Abbot, Cambridge, Guilford, Parkman, Sangerville and Wellington will vote “yes” or “no.”

“The state is requiring us to spend $3,080,626, that is down $155,364 from last year,” Superintendent Kelly MacFadyen said about the local required allocation for SAD 4. The 2019-20 budget includes $830,225 in local additional monies, about $69,360 (8 percent) less than the current year, along with $47,033 for the district’s portion of the Piscataquis Valley Adult Education Cooperative (PVAEC) budget.

PCHS Camden Conference

Observer photo/Stuart Hedstrom
PIG IRON SCULPTURE — PCHS senior Ethan Chadwick shows a pig iron sculpture he made as part of a project on China’s Great Leap Forward for the Camden Conference during a May 14 school board meeting. In February Chadwick and other PCHS students traveled to Camden for the multiple-day event to look at the theme “Is this China’s Century?” The Camden Conference was founded in 1987 as a nonprofit, non-partisan educational organization whose mission is to foster informed discourse on world issues.

The school board approved its share of the near $411,500 total PVAEC budget in a separate motion. MacFadyen said adult education expenses are up by 5 percent, with much of the increase covering raises for cooperative employees who have gone without for a number of years.

SAD 4 would also receive a projected $113,000 in tuition costs between the two district schools for total revenues totaling a little more than $4.5 million.

MacFadyen said the state allocation is “up 11 percent from the year before.” She said sum of $2,413,472 is slightly $237,000 more than 2018-19.

The state allocation, $4.5 million in revenue and another $237,500 in revenues — such as providing transportation for other school units — equals the $7,174,825 figure.

Between local required and local additional monies and adult education, the proposed assessment for the six SAD 4 communities comes to $3,957,885. This figure is down by nearly $222,500 from the 2018-19 assessment of approximately $4.18 million.

PCHS Camden Conference

Observer photo/Stuart Hedstrom
BODY ART — Senior Jennifer Simon of PCHS shows a timelapse video of painting her body to replicate a photo of a Chinese re-education camp. Simon and other students who attended the annual Camden Conference earlier in the year presented on what they learned to the SAD 4 directors during a May 14 meeting. Simon said she spent six hours getting ready.

Five of the six towns will see a reduction in assessments under the proposed budget for next year. Abbot’s $768,957 total would be down by about $25,000 (3.15 percent). In Cambridge a $255,804 assessment is nearly $13,000 (4.83 percent) less. Guilford has the largest share at $1,289,346, a figure about $104,000 (7.47 percent) less than in 2018-19. Sangerville would see a total of $797,855, $60,231 (7.02 percent) less. For Wellington a $173,578 assessment is down by $37,568 (17.79 percent).

Parkman would see a $17,374 (2.65 percent) increase for an assessment of $672,342. “That is because their town valuation has increased and I believe that is because of their wind project, power station,” MacFadyen said.

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