BATH — In the course of about 50 minutes Tuesday, 50 registered voters approved a $28.3 million budget for next year in Regional School Unit 1.
The district budget meeting, held at Bath Middle School, elicited few comments from the public. It will be followed by a budget validation referendum on the spending plan for Bath, Arrowsic, Phippsburg, and Woolwich schools on Tuesday, June 14.
The largest expense – $10.9 million for regular instruction, up more than $300,000 from current spending – funds salaries and benefits for regular education teachers and support staff, along with classroom supplies, books, equipment and repairs.
The budget 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 was added, too.
Before endorsing the budget a month ago, the RSU 1 Board of Directors added about $7,000 for a lacrosse program at Bath Middle School, about $10,000 for an additional day of nurses at Phippsburg Elementary School, and about $3,000 to add an after-school robotics program at Bath Middle and Woolwich Central schools.
Will final budget approval this month, district-wide taxes would 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, comprising 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 would be $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.