Bath-area RSU budget heads to June 12 final vote

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BATH — The Regional School Unit 1 district budget meeting drew about 50 registered voters, ran about 40 minutes, and generated very little comment on a summer-like Tuesday evening.

Having passed its first of two hurdles at the Bath Middle School gathering, next year’s proposed $30.1 million spending plan goes to a final decision by RSU 1 residents on Tuesday, June 12. Bath voters can cast ballots at the middle school, 6 Old Brunswick Road, between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. that day.

Next year’s budget reflects a 3.87 percent increase over current spending. About 70 percent of the budget, or $21.1 million, is comprised of salaries and benefits.

Up 5.74 percent over current spending, that category includes several new positions: three additional special educational technicians at the Phippsburg, Dike Newell and Fisher Mitchell elementary schools; a part-time finance clerk in the district’s business office; and an educational technician for math intervention at Woolwich Central School.

One day a week is also to be added for Assistant Superintendent Katie Joseph in order to budget that position at full time. Instead of one full-time assistant principal splitting time between Woolwich and Bath Middle School, that role would be replaced by two full-time dean of student positions, one for each school.

A computer science teaching position at Bath Middle School is being replaced with a new social studies teacher.

The $18.2 million RSU 1 seeks to raise in taxes would mean a jump of nearly $470,000 from the current local contribution. Of this amount, Bath would be assessed $10.4 million (up 3.67 percent); Arrowsic, nearly $550,000 (up 0.99 percent); Phippsburg, nearly $3 million (down 3.78 percent); and Woolwich, $4.3 million (up 5.26 percent).

The district is receiving more state aid to education this year to offset expenses – $10.1 million, a nearly $690,000 increase.

Alex Lear can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 113 or alear@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @learics.

Tuesday’s Regional School Unit 1 district budget meeting, held at Bath Middle School, ran about 40 minutes and drew about 50 registered voters.

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A Maine native and Colby College graduate, Alex has been covering coastal communities since 2001, and currently handles Bath, Topsham, Cumberland, and North Yarmouth. He and his wife, Lauren, live in the Portland area, and Alex recently released his third album of original music.