Near $7.2M SAD 4 budget moved to June 11 vote at the polls

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GUILFORD — A proposed $7,174,825 SAD 4 budget for the 2019-20 academic year was approved — with all 21 articles passed as written over about 20 minutes with 40 registered voters present — during the annual district budget meeting May 30 at Piscataquis Community Elementary School.

The near $7.2 million spending plan is now moved to a referendum in the SAD 4 towns of Abbot, Cambridge, Guilford, Parkman, Sangerville and Wellington on Tuesday, June 11 with residents of the half dozen communities voting either “yes” or “no” to make a district-wide decision on the 2020 budget. More information on the financials is available at

“The total budget this year has increased $87,783, which is a 1.24 percent increase from last year,” Superintendent Kelly MacFadyen said about the near $7.2 million total.

Going through a slideshow, MacFadyen said “you will see the local required allocation is $3,080,626, vs. $3,235,991 last year.”

“We ask for additional local money to provide the programs we need or feel are important for our students,” she said. The approximate $830,000 in local additional monies is more than $69,000 (8 percent) less than for the current academic year.

The 2019-20 budget includes SAD 4’s $47,033 portion of the near total $411,500 Piscataquis Valley Adult Education Cooperative (PVAEC) budget. PVAEC expenses are shared across SAD 4, 41, 46 and RSU 68.

State allocation is up by about 11 percent for SAD 4 with $2,413,472 being 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.

“So what does this mean to the towns?,” MacFadyen said in discussing assessment for the six district communities. Between local required, 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.

“Most towns are down from what you paid last year, the one exception is Parkman and I believe that is due to the power plant with the windmills,” the superintendent said with the project increasing Parkman’s valuation.

Five of the six communities would 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).

The June 11 referendum will also ask SAD 4 residents if they wish to continue with the existing budget validation process, a district budget meeting and then vote at the polls on the total budget, for another three years.

“Every three years you are asked if you want to continue to do this,” MacFadyen said.

She said a “yes” vote continues the process and a “no” vote eliminates the referendum. “This is where you would adopt the budget and not go vote,” MacFadyen said.

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