$16.5M SAD 46 budget moved to June 11 ballot

DEXTER – A proposed 2024-25 SAD 46 budget totaling $16,532,495 was approved during the annual district meeting in the Alfond Gym at the Ridge View Community School on May 30. This figure is now moved to referendum vote in the SAD 46 communities of Dexter, Exeter, Garland, and Ripley on Tuesday, June 11.

The $16.5 million gross figure is up by $506,625 or 3.16 percent from the current academic year’s figure of $16,025,870.

Superintendent Kevin Jordan said the school board, district administrators, and others have been working on the budget since early in the year. He said the district has a 2-point mission, a desire to provide excellence in education for the whole community of learners and for the staff, administration, and board of directors to work together to create a budget that balances the efficient delivery of quality services with the fiscal responsibility required by the local taxpayers. 

“After the work of the budget committee from the initial first drafts this budget was reduced by just under $600,000,” he said.

Jordan said the state subsidy is up to $11,492,333 from last year’s near $11.2 million figure. In order to receive this money, SAD 46 communities are required to raise $2,973,925 (a 5.79 percent increase from $2,873,847). Valuations in the four towns have all risen from 2023-24.

Between the $2,973,925 in local required monies, $591,030 in local additional funds (annual monies district officials feel are needed to fund the full budget beyond what the state requires), $36,354 for local debt service, and $71,885 for the district’s proportional share of the Piscataquis Valley Adult Education Cooperative budget, SAD 46 has a combined $3,673,195 local assessment. Last year’s assessment was a bit under $3.5 million.

Dexter would see a $76.797 increase (3.878 percent) for a figure of $2,056,955 under the proposed finances. Exeter’s $631,911 share is up by $25,751 (4.248 percent), Garland would have a $71,586 (13.17 percent) increase to $615,151, and for Ripley a $27,010 increase (7.894 percent) would bring its portion of the 2024-25 SAD 46 budget to $369,176.

All 17 articles making up the meeting warrant were approved as written, with 30 residents in attendance, with minimal discussion over 18 minutes. This included an affirmative written vote for the $591,030 in local additional monies.

The June 11 polling hours and locations are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Dexter Town Hall, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Exeter Town Office, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Garland Community Center, and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. at Ripley’s Courser Memorial School.

The school board needs to validate the referendum totals within 48 hours, so the directors’ June meeting will be at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, June 12 instead of the typical first Wednesday of the month.

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