Near $8.5M SAD 4 budget moved to June 13 referendum

GUILFORD – A proposed 2023-24 SAD 4 budget totaling $8,473,000 was approved during the evening of May 24 at the annual district budget meeting held in the Piscataquis Community Elementary School cafeteria.

The near $8.5 million figure will now go to a referendum vote for final approval on Tuesday, June 13 at the respective polling places in the district communities of Abbot, Cambridge, Guilford, Parkman, Sangerville, and Wellington.

Superintendent Kelly MacFadyen said the total SAD 4 budget is up by about 9 percent or $700,880 from the current year’s figure of $7,772,120. She said much of the $306,743 increase for special education services — a proposed $1.5 million-plus total — should be reimbursed by the state.

The proposed spending plan includes a combined $4,492,377 local assessment between the six district communities. This is made up of local required and local additional monies along with SAD 4’s proportional share of the Piscataquis Valley Adult Education Cooperative budget and is $748,613 more than that of $3,7 million-plus for 2022-23

The $4,492,377 being asked of the six SAD 4 communities is comprised of $2,935,299 in local required monies, $1,507,363 in local additional monies, and the district’s $49,715 for the PVAEC. Articles for these specific items were each approved on May 24, including several legally required recorded votes of 22-3.

Each community has a proportional local required figure, additional local amount, and its costs for the PVAEC. All district six towns would see an increased assessment. MacFadyen said town valuations have all gone up by about 4 to 6 percent, close to or at the state average increase of 6 percent, and this means all communities would need to contribute more to the cost of student education.

Abbot would have a $147,753 (20.37 percent) increase in its assessment to $873,190; Cambridge’s $306,735 share of the SAD 4 budget is up $62,674 (25.68 percent); Guilford’s share is $1,246,766, up by $173,130 (16.13 percent); Parkman would have a $143,421 (19.69 percent) increase to $871,910; Sangerville’s $946,547 share is up $180,832 (23.62 percent); and Wellington’s $247,227 assessment represents a $40,800 (19.76 percent) increase from 2022-23.

The state allocation for SAD 4 is down by $73,291 (2.4 percent) to $2,990,537 from $3 million-plus.

The 22 articles making up the $8,473,000 2023-24 budget were all approved as written by the voters in attendance in about 20 minutes with minimal discussion.

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