Bath-area School Board sends $28.3M budget to voters

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BATH — The Regional School Unit 1 Board of Directors on Monday unanimously approved a $28.3 million budget for next year.

The spending plan includes three minor additions.

The first two – about $7,000 for a lacrosse program at Bath Middle School, and about $10,000 for an additional day of nurses at Phippsburg Elementary School – earned board approval April 25.

The board included the third addition, about $3,000 to add an after-school robotics program at Bath Middle and Woolwich Central schools, as part of its approved budget Monday, according to RSU 1 Business Manager Debra Clark.

The three additions, requested by the public during the budget process, were offset by nearly $22,000 in savings from resignations, replacements and benefits, she said.

If the budget is approved by the public at two votes in the coming weeks, district-wide taxes will increase 3.44 percent. The fiscal 2017 spending plan will increase 3.39 percent – adding nearly $928,000 – to $28.3 million.

Offsetting revenues include $9.4 million in state subsidy, up about $53,000.

Salaries, which comprise nearly 68 percent of the budget, are $19.2 million, an increase of 3.38 percent.

The $17.1 million in taxes assessed to the four member communities reflect a 3.44 percent, or about $568,000, increase. Bath’s share would be $9.7 million, up 3.45 percent; Arrowsic’s, nearly $508,000, a 12.26 percent hike; Phippsburg’s, $3 million, up about 1.71 percent, and Woolwich’s, $3.9 million, a 3.71 percent increase.

The budget now goes to a district budget meeting May 31, and a budget validation referendum June 14.

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

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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.