SAD 75 looks to trim budget by about 5%

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TOPSHAM — School Administrative District 75 is hoping to build a budget for next year that is almost 5 percent smaller than the current spending plan.

The district budgeted $36.25 million for fiscal 2010. But Superintendent of Schools Mike Wilhelm said a $1.5 million decline in state aid next year, plus other smaller drops in revenue, will require trimming next year’s budget to about $34.5 million.

The Finance Committee has looked at budget cuts across all categories, he said, including administration, buildings and grounds, transportation, food service, academic programming and extra and co-curricular activities.

Public budget forums are scheduled at Harpswell Islands School on March 30, Bowdoin Central School on April 1 and Williams Cone School in Topsham on April 6. All will begin at 6:30 p.m.

The Finance Committee will meet at Mt. Ararat High School at 6 p.m. April 13, and the School Board is due to approve the budget at its April 29 meeting.

A public budget hearing will be held at Mt. Ararat High School on May 13, followed by the district budget meeting at the Orion Performing Arts Center at Mt. Ararat Middle School on May 27 and the budget validation referendum on June 8.

Alex Lear can be reached at 373-9060 ext. 113 or

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.