RSU 1 to hold budget hearing in Bath

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BATH — The proposed $30.1 million budget for Regional School Unit 1 goes to a second public hearing Monday, April 30.

The Board of Directors is due the following Monday, May 7, to approve the fiscal year 2019 spending plan. The budget then goes to two decisions before RSU 1 voters: a district budget meeting May 29, and a budget validation referendum June 12.

Monday’s 6 p.m. meeting takes place at Bath Middle School, 6 Old Brunswick Road.

Next year’s budget, which can be viewed at rsu1.org, proposes a 3.87 percent spending increase, which would result in a 2.64 percent hike in tax assessments to its four communities.

The $18.2 million RSU 1 seeks to raise in taxes would be up nearly $470,000 from the current local contribution. Of this amount, Bath would be assessed $10.4 million (up 3.67 percent); Arrowsic, nearly $550,000 (up 0.99 percent); Phippsburg, nearly $3 million (down 3.78 percent); and Woolwich, $4.3 million (up 5.26 percent).

The district is receiving more state aid to education this year to offset expenses – $10.1 million, a nearly $690,000 increase.

About 70 percent of the proposed budget, or $21.1 million, is comprised of salaries and benefits.

Up 5.74 percent over current spending, that category includes several new positions: three additional special educational technicians at the Phippsburg, Dike Newell and Fisher Mitchell elementary schools; a part-time finance clerk in the district’s business office; and an educational technician for math intervention at Woolwich Central School.

One day a week is also being added for Assistant Superintendent Katie Joseph in order to budget that position at full time. Instead of one full-time assistant principal splitting time between Woolwich and Bath Middle School, that role is being replaced by two full-time dean of student positions, one for each school.

No positions would be cut.

Alex Lear can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 113 or alear@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @learics.

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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.