By Diana Bowley of the BDN Staff : DEXTER, Maine — SAD 46 directors will act Wednesday on a proposed 2010 spending plan that requires less in assessments from the district’s towns of Dexter, Exeter, Garland and Ripley.
The proposed budget of $10,137,113 represents a decrease of $83,627 from the current year’s spending plan.
Not included in the amount is nearly $2 million from the Maine Department of Education for the debt payment on the new elementary and middle school in Dexter. Those funds are received and then paid out, leaving no effect on local property taxes.
“The budget committee worked very hard, with the anticipation of flat funding from the state or worse,” SAD 46 Superintendent Kevin Jordan said last week. “Administrators came forward with a very conservative budget and we’ve looked to tighten our belts wherever we can.”
Jordan said directors reduced a grade five position at Dexter Middle School, a part-time English position at the high school and an education technician based on enrollment.
Several other factors aided in the budget deliberations, including no increase in the district’s health insurance; a more favorable fuel contract, which represented a $75,000 savings; and consolidating with Harmony to save $22,000, according to Jordan. By consolidating, the district also avoided a $161,000 penalty in state sub-sidy.
Federal stimulus funds of about $180,000 will be used to help offset some of the budget expenses, Jordan said.
“We were able to offer some relief for the taxpayers and still provide services on an expected level for our students,” Jordan said. Decreases in assessments are projected as follows: $30,873 for Dexter; $20,827 for Exeter; $4,575 for Garland and $17,678 for Ripley.
The public budget meeting will be held at 6 p.m. Thursday, June 18, at Dexter Regional High School. The validation referendum vote will be held Tuesday, June 23, in each district town.
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