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SAD 51 voters deadlock on school budget

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SAD 51 voters deadlock on school budget

CUMBERLAND — School Administrative District 51 officials are expected to recount ballots after Cumberland and North Yarmouth voters combined for a tie in the school budget validation referendum Tuesday.

There aren't many ballots to recount: turnout in both towns was around 10 percent, with 583 ballots cast in Cumberland and 247 in North Yarmouth.

Cumberland voters approved SAD 51's $28 million proposed budget by a margin of just 45 votes, 314-269. North Yarmouth citizens rejected the budget by the same 45-vote margin, 146-101.

Cumberland Town Manager Bill Shane late Tuesday night said that officials from both towns are "looking at" a recount. A time and place for a recount was not established.

If the budget does not pass, the proposal must go back to the School Board for revision and a second validation referendum. If the towns and board act quickly, that vote could be scheduled for June 9, to coincide with municipal elections in both towns.

If the proposed budget is approved, Cumberland taxpayers face a tax increase of
3.4 percent, or 47 cents per $1,000 assessed value. North Yarmouth
residents would see an increase of 8.2 percent, or 92 cents, to the mil
rate. 

Sarah Trent can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 108 or strent@theforecaster.net.