$11.3M SAD 41 budget moved to June 11 referendum

MILO — A proposed 2024-25 SAD 41 budget totaling $11,283,254 was approved during the annual district budget meeting in the Penquis Valley School cafeteria on Monday, May 20. This figure will now go to a referendum vote in the district communities of Brownville, LaGrange and Milo on Tuesday, June 11 for a “yes” or a “no” vote for final approval.

The near $11.3 million figure represents an increase of $234,436 (2.12 percent) from the current $11,048,816 budget. The 2023-24 budget was approved at the polls nearly a year ago by a combined vote total of 50-12 (18-4 in Brownville, 9-3 in LaGrange and 23-5 in Milo). The 17 articles of the budget were all approved as written by the voters in attendance in about 20 minutes.

In 2024-24 SAD 41 will receive just more than $7.3 million in Essential Programs and Services state funds, an increase of $421,812. In order to receive these funds, district communities must raise $1,339,226, which is $25,845 more than in 2023-24. SAD 41 will ask for $1,102,339 in local additional funds — a $44,388 increase.

The  $1,102,339 in local additional monies was passed in an article by the required written ballot via a vote of 24-0.

The proposed budget has a $2,485,661 local contribution, consisting of the required funds and additional local monies as well as SAD 41’s near $44,096 proportional share of the Piscataquis County Adult Education Cooperative budget ($445,092 spread proportionally across four area school districts).

Superintendent Darcie Fournier said the budget process started in mid-November and since then a great deal of time has been spent looking at programs, needs and numbers. “Really trying to build a proposed budget to present tonight,” she said.

Business Manager Heidi Sisco said the three SAD 41 district communities’ local shares of the budget are based on valuation and the mill rate, which is 6.62 mills for 2024-25. She said Brownville, LaGrange and Milo will each have an increased assessment in the proposed budget with the $2,485,661 between local required, local additional and PVAEC monies. This figure is up by $70,843 (2.93 percent) from 2023-24’s $2,414,818 combined local share.

The three town shares are $837,974 for Brownville, a $30,613 (3.79 percent) increase; LaGrange would see a $17,106 (3.85 percent) increase to $461,581; and for Milo a $1,162,982 portion of the SAD 41 budget is up by $23,123 or 1.99 percent.

Get the Rest of the Story

Thank you for reading your4 free articles this month. To continue reading, and support local, rural journalism, please subscribe.