Falmouth backs school budget, elects board members

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FALMOUTH — Voters overwhelmingly approved a $31.7 million school budget Tuesday, 1,923-405, according to unofficial results of the state-mandated referendum.

Voters also chose three school board members in an uncontested race for three seats. Incumbent Lucy Tucker scored 1,706 votes, Danielle Tracy received 1,640 ballots, and Joshua Barrett received 1,609.

The approved budget calls for a 4.76 percent increase from the current budget of $30.2 million. The $1.5 million increase will have no impact on the mil rate, however, because the hike is offset by gains in state aid, student tuition, use of undesignated funds, and property taxes from new homes.

Tucker has said the spending increase was the result of debt service on a $5 million bond for improvements to the middle school, plus wages and benefits for employees, including the schools’ share of retirement expenses.

Tucker also has pointed out that Falmouth’s property tax rate of $14.12 per $1,000 of assessed value is the lowest among 10 neighboring communities, including Cape Elizabeth, Portland and Yarmouth.

Ben McCanna can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 125 or bmccanna@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @BenMcCanna.

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