BATH — A $26 million fiscal 2013 budget for Regional School Unit 1 goes to a final vote June 12, after receiving initial public approval Tuesday.
A budget meeting at Bath Middle School drew more than 140 voters from the five RSU 1 communities – Bath, Arrowsic, Phippsburg, West Bath and Woolwich.
If approved on Election Day, the budget will take effect July 1.
Taxes in Bath would increase by 5.38 percent, or about $438,000, to $8.6 million. Arrowsic’s assessment would climb nearly 16 percent to $494,000. Phippsburg would increase 9.54 percent to nearly $3 million, and Woolwich’s tax would grow 1.77 percent to $3.1 million.
West Bath’s assessment would decrease nearly 17 percent, to $2.2 million.
Significant expenditures in next year’s budget include $10.1 million for regular instruction, $3.7 million for special education, $1.2 million for career and technical education, $2.2 million for student and staff support, $1.5 million for school administration, $1 million for transportation, $3.2 million for facilities maintenance and $1.9 million for debt service.
In a letter available to residents at Tuesday’s meeting, RSU 1 Chairman Tim Harkins said the district has lost $480,000 in federal stimulus money. While it is receiving a state subsidy increase of almost $600,000, RSU 1 is experiencing a nearly $500,000 hike in operating expenses for things like staff salaries, fuel and heating oil, Harkins explained.
Consequential reductions include the elimination of a foreign language position and reduction of Rosetta Stone language software licenses at Bath Middle and Woolwich Central schools ($66,400); a social studies position cut at Morse High School (nearly $80,000); the elimination of a composite program and supplies at the Bath Regional Career and Technical Center ($83,000); the reduction of a part-time music position at the Dike-Newell School in Bath (about $19,000), and a $45,000 cut in transportation.
The transportation reduction eliminates transportation for a pre-kindergarten program, as well as a school choice option primarily for elementary students.
Proposed amendments – to restore the music position, $2,000 in supplies at the Dike-Newell and Fisher-Mitchell schools, and part or all of the transportation cuts – failed when put to voters.
The polls will be open for Bath voters at Bath Middle School from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. June 12.