RSU 5 annual meeting sends $23.9M school budget to June 14 vote

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FREEPORT — Residents of Freeport, Pownal and Durham added $9,100 to the proposed Regional School Unit 5 budget at the annual budget meeting on Wednesday night.

The increase will send a $23.9 million budget to voters on Tuesday, June 14. 

Although the School Board will ultimately decide how to use the additional funds, Freeport resident David Breau of Lambert Road suggested the money support the performing arts programs. He specifically wanted to add choral risers at Freeport High School.

Freeport has about 6,100 registered voters, but only 115 attended the budget meeting. About 20 of Durham’s 3,260 residents attended the meeting and of the 1,200 registered voters in Pownal, only 15 residents attended.

The town meeting-style gathering approved the budget by a vote of 100-8.

The $9,100 increase has slight impact on taxes in all three communities.

In Pownal, before the additional funds were added to the budget, residents would have faced a tax increase of $4,000 or 0.26 percent. Now their share is $5,400, a 0.33 percent increase.

Durham residents would have seen an increase of $42,000 or 1.38 percent, but with the increase they now face a $44,400 hike, or 1.45 percent.

In Freeport, residents would have faced a $165,000 increase or 1.26 percent, but they now will pay $170,900, an increase of 1.30 percent.

RSU 5 Chairman Nelson Larkins said he was pleased the budget passed at the annual meeting and hoped it will be ratified at the polls next week.

Amy Anderson can be reached at781-3661 ext. 110 or aanderson@theforecaster.net. Follow her on Twitter: @amy_k_anderson.

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