Cumberland, North Yarmouth voters approve SAD 51 budget

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CUMBERLAND — Voters in School Administrative District 51 approved a $28 million spending plan for fiscal 2011 in Tuesday’s budget validation referendum.

The vote followed initial approval of the budget by Cumberland and North Yarmouth voters at a district budget meeting June 3.

The budget was approved 1,759 to 1,046 in Cumberland and 756-590 in North Yarmouth.

Voters in both towns also favored continuing the referendum process for another three years: 1,919 to 846 in Cumberland and 907-414 in North Yarmouth.

They also gave second approval to creating a fuel cost stabilization fund and transfer of up to $150,000 to that fund from available fund balances at year’s end. That question passed 1,629 to 1,035 in Cumberland and 709-574 in North Yarmouth.

Results were unofficial as of early Wednesday morning.

The fiscal 2011 budget will remain flat for the third year in a row and includes almost 19 job cuts. The district is losing $1.25 million in revenue, including a cut of about $750,000 in state subsidy.

The tax assessment to Cumberland is increasing more than $900,000, to $11.8 million, showing an addition of 70 cents, or 4.8 percent, per $1,000 of property valuation. North Yarmouth will experience a hike of more than $350,000, to $4.7 million, which will add 64 cents to the tax rate – an approximately 5 percent increase.

Next year’s budget saves more than $121,000 by moving third-graders from the Drowne Road School to the Mabel I. Wilson School. The Wilson school currently houses kindergarten through second grade. Job cuts include a library educational technician, secretary, social worker and custodian.

Alex Lear can be reached at 373-9060 ext. 113 or alear@theforecaster.net.

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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.