BATH — Regional School Unit 1 voters approved a $28.3 million budget, 1,032-313, at Tuesday’s referendum, according to unofficial results.
A second question, on whether to continue that budget validation referendum process, also passed, 939-366.
Bath voters approved next year’s spending plan 390-124, as did those in Arrowsic (118-14), Phippsburg (214-65), and Woolwich (310-110).
“We’re pleased with the budget results, and appreciate the time and effort that the administrative team and the School Board put into this budget process,” RSU 1 Superintendent Patrick Manuel said in an interview Wednesday, thanking residents of the four communities for their support.
District-wide taxes are due to increase 3.44 percent. The fiscal 2017 spending plan is rising 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, a 3.38 percent hike.
The $17.1 million in taxes assessed to the four member communities reflect an increase of about $568,000, or 3.44 percent. Bath’s share is $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 largest budget expense – $10.9 million for regular instruction, up more than $300,000 from current spending – funds salaries and benefits for teachers and support staff, along with classroom supplies, books, equipment and repairs.
The spending plan includes a $45,000 half-time Science Technology Engineering Arts and Math, or STEAM, teacher at Morse High School, as well as a middle school foreign language teacher and district-wide technology integration position, both averaging about $70,000, each including benefits. A day of music at Morse has been added as well.