SAD 75 voters approve fiscal 2012 budget for Topsham, Harpswell, Bowdoin, Bowdoinham

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TOPSHAM — Voters approved the School Administrative District 75 fiscal 2012 budget, 924-331, in Tuesday’s budget validation referendum.

All four towns backed the spending plan, according to preliminary results: Topsham, 112-71; Harpswell, 678-233; Bowdoin, 56-13 and Bowdoinham, 78-14.

Voters had supported the $34.2 million spending plan in a town meeting-style gathering May 19.

Next year’s budget will drop more than $572,000, or 1.65 percent, from this year. The district-wide local contribution will remain unchanged at $18.7 million, although individual towns will see changes caused by valuation changes.

Topsham’s contribution will rise 3.15 percent to $7.8 million, while Harpswell’s will drop nearly 5 percent to $6.5 million. Bowdoin’s will climb 2.18 percent to $2.1 million, and Bowdoinham’s will increase 2.36 percent to $2.3 million.

SAD 75 faces a revenue shortfall of nearly $594,000.

Eliminated positions in next year’s budget include two eighth-grade teachers at Mt. Ararat Middle School, a science teacher and two alternative education staff at Mt. Ararat High School, 1.8 elementary librarians, and an interventionist.

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.