$14.5M SAD 46 budget set for Tuesday’s referendum

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DEXTER — A proposed $14,550,306 SAD 46 budget for the 2019-20 academic year was approved at the annual district meeting on June 6 at the Ridge View Community School. The spending package total will now go to a referendum in the towns of Dexter, Exeter, Garland and Ripley on Tuesday, June 11 with residents of the four communities voting either “yes” or “no” to make a district-wide decision.

“This is a process that began in December with our school administrators and wrapped up at our May school meeting,” Superintendent Kevin Jordan said, with the directors unanimously giving their approval to the 2019-20 budget on May 1.

“This budget is a decrease of $25,322 from the 2018-19 budget or 0.17 percent,” he said. “From the state of Maine there was a reduction in the local required money.”

Jordan said the approximate figure of $3,013,000 is down from the 2018-19 total of nearly $3,098,000. He said the $10,624,753 in state funds for next year is nearly $252,000 less than in 2018-19. In the proposed 2019-20 spending plan, there is zero balance being brought forward whereas previously this amount was $262,049.

“So if you add those up right out of the gate when the board started we were nearly $600,000 in the hole to begin with,” Jordan said.

He said unlike 2018-19, this year SAD 46 officials are asking for $219,568 in local option monies in addition to the near $3,013,000 required by the state in order to receive the $10.6 million-plus in subsidy.

To receive the $10.6 million-plus from the state, Dexter, Exeter, Garland and Ripley are required to raise a combined $3,012,816. Along with $219,568 in local option monies, $41,456 in debt service and $66,848 for adult education, the total local amount is $3,370,688 or a little less than $166,000 (5.18 percent) more than the 2018-19 figure of $3,204,693.

The $14.5 million-plus 2019-20 budget figure was approved across 19 warrant articles with minimal discussion over 16 minutes by the more than 20 residents in attendance. The warrant included items such as the budget total and local option monies which was approved by written ballot.

Each town would see its share of the budget go up. Dexter’s $2,028817 is increased by $101,835 (5.285 percent), a sum of $576,387 for Exeter is $29,987 (5.488 percent) more, Garland would see a $16,751 (3.747 percent) increase to $463,806 and in Ripley the $301,676 portion of the SAD 46 spending plan is an increase of $17,420 (6.128 percent).

The June 11 referendum will include a question asking if citizens wish to continue the district budget meeting/ballot process for another three years. Per state statute this method has to be approved every three years.

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