Bath area school board OKs $29M budget for FY ’18

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BATH — Following a meeting at Bath Middle School Monday that ran about five minutes, the Regional School Unit 1 Board of Directors unanimously approved a $29 million budget for next year.

RSU 1 residents will now tackle a vote on the budget twice – at the May 30 district budget meeting at Bath Middle School at 6 p.m., and at the June 13 budget validation referendum.

No one spoke during the public hearing held before the vote. Only one resident had spoken at two prior hearings.

The 2.9 percent spending increase could result in a 4.5 percent overall hike in the tax rate.

Spending next year is proposed to increase by $715,000. Of the total, $17.8 million could come from taxes – up about $664,000 from the current year.

The tax impact across RSU 1’s four communities is estimated at $10.1 million in Bath, up 3.7 percent; $544,000 in Arrowsic, up 7.2 percent; $3.1 million in Phippsburg, up 3.4 percent, and $4 million for Woolwich, up 4.2 percent.

The district’s Anthem Health Insurance rates, for which a 7 percent increase had originally been budgeted, came in at 5.5 percent, saving RSU 1 about $17,000.

RSU 1 expects to receive $9.4 million in state aid, up $74,000.

School Board member Steve August, who also serves on RSU 1’s Finance Committee, called the budget “a reasonable effort to continue advancing the educational programs in the RSU, and I think we also hold the line for our taxpayers.”

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

The Regional School Unit 1 Board of Directors on Monday unanimously approved a nearly $29 million budget for next year. The board met at Bath Middle School.

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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.