SAD 75 voters grant first passage to FY 12 budget

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TOPSHAM — In less than an hour, and with little public comment, School Administrative District 75 voters approved next year’s $34.2 million budget on May 19.

The audience approved separate budget warrant articles by a show of hands in the Town Meeting-style gathering, held at the Orion Performing Arts Center. The fiscal 2012 budget faces a final vote at the June 14 budget validation referendum.

If approved again, next year’s spending plan will decrease more than $572,000, or 1.65 percent, from the current year. Total local contribution across the district will be flat at $18.7 million, but each town would see an increase or decrease, triggered by valuation changes.

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

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

Positions eliminated in the budget 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.

The June 14 referendum will be held from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Topsham Fairgrounds Exhibition Hall, Bowdoin Central School and Bowdoinham Town Hall, and from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Merriconeag Grange Hall on the Harpswell mainland, the Cundy’s Harbor Community Building on Great Island, and the Old Orr’s Island School House.

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.