Bath-area school budget on track for voter decisions

  • Mail this page!
  • Delicious
  • 0

BATH — The Regional School Unit 1 Board of Directors on Monday unanimously adopted a $33.7 million budget for fiscal year 2020.

The spending plan now goes to two votes by the public.

RSU 1 residents – who had no comments on the issue either at this week’s meeting, or in two budget public hearings in March and April – will vote first at a  district budget meeting May 28, 6 p.m. at Bath Middle School, then in a June 11 budget validation referendum.

The bulk of the proposed $3.6 million, or 12%, increase comes from $3.4 million in debt service toward the construction of a new Morse High School. Without that expense, the budget would be $31.4 million, an increase of $1.3 million (4.42%).

Offsetting expenditures is $13.1 million in state subsidy, which includes $2.3 million toward debt service. With all revenues subtracted, the remaining $18.6 million will be assessed to the RSU 1 communities – a 2% increase.

Of that amount, Bath would be taxed $10.7 million (up 2.54%), Arrowsic $493,000 (down 10.3%), Phippsburg nearly $3 million (down 0.03%), and Woolwich $4.4 million (up 3.7%).

The school budget impact on a $100,000 home could cause annual increases of $15.64 in Bath and $25.71 in Woolwich, and decreases of $69.26 in Arrowsic and 77 cents in Phippsburg.

Other approximate budget increases include literacy materials for the reading curriculum in kindergarten to grade 5 ($160,000), two additional days a week for an English as a Second Language teacher ($41,000), one day per week of an outdoor classroom at Phippsburg Elementary School ($15,000), enhancement of Morse’s music program ($15,000), two new educational technicians ($45,000 each), and additional funding for substitute teachers ($20,000).

Alex Lear can be reached at 780-9085 or alear@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @learics.

0
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.