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$9.6M SAD 41 budget approved

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MILO — SAD 41 residents in Brownville, LaGrange and Milo approved a $9,639,532 budget for 2019-20 during the June 27 referendum by a combined total of 152-37. In Brownville the numbers were 35 in favor with 15 opposed, 16-5 in LaGrange and 101-17 in Milo.

Citizens also opted to continue with the annual district budget meeting/referendum process for three more years by a count of 139-50 (34-15 in Brownville, 18-3 in LaGrange and 87-32 in Milo). Per state statute this question is on the ballot every three years, otherwise there would only be the district budget meeting to approve the yearly district finances.

The total budget for 2019-20 represents a near $562,700 increase from the current year’s figure of $9,077,841. SAD 41 will be receiving a little more than $5,877,800 in Essentials Programs & Services (EPS) funds from the state, a near $147,000 increase.

In order to get the $5.8 million-plus the three SAD 41 towns are required by the state to raise a combined $1,347,156. This EPS local required amount is $238,469 less than the $1,585,625 for 2018-19.

“If you look at that initially, it looks great,” Superintendent Michael Wright said during last month’s district budget meeting at the Penquis Valley School. He said in order to make up the near $240,000 difference in EPS local required funds between 2019-20 and 2018-19, more monies would have to come from the towns.

Wright said the amount of local additional monies being asked for — beyond the approximate $1.3 million in EPS local required monies — would be increasing by $243,373 to $976,468.

The three district communities will each see an increase in the respective shares of the budget. The total local amount (local required, local additional and other expenses such as adult education and career and technical education) of $2,379,277 is up by $60,557 (2.61 percent).

Brownville’s $769,207 share is $110,582 more (16.79 percent) than in 2018-19. LaGrange is seeing a $58,500 (15.57 percent) increase to $434,324. For Milo a $1,175,746 amount represents a $142,853 (13.83 percent) increase from 2018-19.

The superintendent said the district will lose Atkinson because the town deorganized and as of July 1 is part of the Piscataquis County Unorganized Territory. He said under the town’s withdrawal agreement from SAD 41 Atkinson made a $275,000 payment to the district.

The $275,000 is a little more than the approximate $251,4000 the community paid for its share of the 2018-19 school budget. The payment is listed under undesignated fund balance in the 2019-20 spending plan, a line that had no money in it for the previous fiscal year.

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