SAD 75 board floats $34.2M budget

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TOPSHAM — The School Administrative District 75 Board of Directors on April 28 unanimously approved a $34.2 million budget for fiscal 2012, a 1.65 percent decrease from the current year.

Residents of Topsham, Harpswell, Bowdoin and Bowdoinham will now vote twice to ratify the spending plan.

Next year’s budget would decline by more than $572,000 from the current $34.8 million. Total local contribution across the district would be flat at $18.7 million, but each town would see an increase or decrease, triggered by valuation changes.

Topsham’s would increase 3.15 percent to $7.8 million, Harpswell’s would decrease nearly 5 percent to $6.5 million, Bowdoin’s would rise 2.18 percent to $2.1 million, and Bowdoinham’s would increase 2.36 percent to $2.3 million.

School officials said the fiscal 2012 spending plan reflects the district’s intention to address a revenue shortfall of nearly $594,000 without jeopardizing programs or increasing the district-wide contribution.

Positions to be cut include two eighth-grade Mt. Ararat Middle School teachers, a science teacher and two alternative education staff at Mt. Ararat High School, 1.8 elementary librarians, and an interventionist.

A public hearing on the budget will be held at Mt. Ararat High School at 6 p.m. Thursday, May 12. The public will then vote on the spending plan at a district budget meeting, to be held at the Orion Performing Arts Center at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, May 26.

The budget validation referendum concludes the process on Tuesday, June 14.

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.