South Portland to vote on nearly $49M school budget

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SOUTH PORTLAND — Residents will be voting June 13 on the school budget and to elect a trustee for the Portland Water District.

Voters are being asked to approve nearly $49 million in school spending. The fiscal 2018 budget was adopted by the School Board at an April 10 meeting and approved by city councilors May 15.

The proposed budget calls for an increase of $1.2 million, or 2.4 percent, over the current budget of $47.6 million.

The board is expecting a decrease of more than $305,000 in the state subsidy, which was almost $6 million this year.

Increases in the budget include health care premiums.

The spending plan also includes capital improvement items totaling just over $1 million. Some of the proposed projects include school technology upgrades; the purchase of one transit bus and two seven-passenger vans; high school repairs and storage, and security cameras.

The City Council has authorized the School Board to use any additional state subsidy money to fund schools and to give a portion back to residents for property tax relief.

Water district trustee

Matthew D. Beck is running unopposed for the South Portland-Cape Elizabeth seat on the water district board, which became vacant when Wayne Ross died in November 2016.

Beck, 59, of South Portland, is seeking a five-year term. He has been a resident of the city for the past 26 years, is married, and the father of three adult children.

Beck works as a business representative for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 1837, which represents employees of electric utilities and broadcast stations in Maine and New Hampshire.

He is chairman of the South Portland Democratic City Committee and serves as vice president of the Maine Fair Trade Campaign.

This is Beck’s first time running for public office.

He said he is interested in community service, “protecting the resource at the Portland Water District,” and ensuring employees at the district have a good work experience.

Voting for residents in all districts will take place at the South Portland Community Center, 21 Nelson Road, from 7 a.m.-8 p.m. The last day to request an absentee ballot without special circumstances is June 8.

 Melanie Sochan can be reached at 781-3661 ext.106 or Follow her on Twitter @melaniesochan.