SAD 4 budget moved to Tuesday’s referendum

GUILFORD — A proposed $6,879,013 2016-17 SAD 4 budget was approved — with all 20 articles ending up being passed as written over 35 minutes with a count of 59 registered voters present at the beginning of the proceedings — during a district budget meeting on Oct. 26 at Piscataquis Community Elementary School. The spending plan, the fourth proposed budget brought to district residents, will now go to a referendum vote in the towns of Abbot, Cambridge, Guilford, Parkman, Sangerville and Wellington on Tuesday, Nov. 8.

The proposed 2017 academic year budget total represents a decrease of just over $283,250 (3.95 percent) from last year’s $7,162,270. During the summer, spending plans of $7,133,215 and $6,877,684 were voted down at the polls and a figure of $6,989,331 was rejected at a September referendum.

During the information session before the district budget meeting Superintendent Ann Kirkpatrick said the proposed spending plan includes a full-time assistant principal/director of student activities to work in both the elementary and secondary schools — to be split 60 and 40 percent between the assistant principal and activity duties. The position was approved by the school board earlier in the month, and to be advertised immediately.

“If you look at 2016 you will see we didn’t have to raise as much money and the state gave us more,” Kirkpatrick said about the local and state allocations. The local required allocation totals nearly $3,177,800 or about $13,100 (0.41 percent) more than for 2015-16, while the state allocation to SAD 4 is down by approximately $214,700 (7.12 percent) to just under $2,800,500.

Kirkpatrick said the latest version of the proposed 2017 budget includes just over $165,650 from fund balance Kirkpatrick this figure is made up of monies not spent from last year’s budget “and we had more revenues coming in than we expected.”

“We felt comfortable with that $165,000,” the superintendent said, saying previously district officials did not feel the same about using reserve funds.

During the district budget meeting a motion was made to amend the article authorizing the expenditure for school administration from just over $388,000 to a little more than $272,000. The amendment was voted down via a show of hands, and the article and the remainder of the ballot was passed as written.

Between the local required allocation, approximately $450,700 in local additional monies and SAD 4’s near $44,350 share of the Piscataquis Valley Adult Education Cooperative, the combined local assessment between the half dozen district communities is $3,672,811 or the same as in 2015-16. Assessments are based on state valuation and pupil counts.

The individual town assessments are split with half having a lower total under the proposed 2016-17 budget and the other three facing an assessment increase. Decreased assessments would be for Abbot at just over $12,800 to nearly $710,000, $7,600-plus less for Sangerville at a little more than $774,600 and Cambridge’s contribution would be down by nearly $1,400 to a just under $232,800.

Assessment increases are approximately $15,900 more for Parkman at about $553,800, a $4,345 increase to about $194,575 for Wellington and the assessment for Guilford would be up by $1,570 to a figure of a little more than $1.2 million.


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