Greenville school budget to cost less

Posted May 10, 2009, at 11:05 p.m.
Last modified Jan. 30, 2011, at 12:13 p.m.

GREENVILLE, Maine — The Greenville School Committee has proposed using $600,000 from the fund balance to offset spending in 2009-2010, lightening the burden on property taxpayers.

Overall, the proposed school budget reduces the impact on property taxpayers by $33,966, according to Superintendent Heather Perry. She said the fund balance mostly reflected unanticipated tuition for pupils from the Unorganized Territory.

Residents will vote on the spending plan at the annual town meeting on June 1. The school budget will be presented for adoption after action on the municipal budget.

“The goal of the school committee was to bring a budget to the taxpayers of Greenville that reduced their overall requirements to support education as a town,” Perry said Friday. “We were able to do that through a combination of creative revenue calculations and expenditure cuts. We feel solid that this budget balances both the needs of the community in these economic times and the needs of our children to offer the best education possible.”

The expenditures of $3,407,356 project an increase of 1.25 percent, and the revenues are down considerably, according to Perry. Greenville is expected to receive a total of $73,895 in state subsidy, which reflects just under 2 percent of the total budget, she said. That subsidy is $52,006 less than the current year because the state reduced the town’s special education allocation from 50 percent to 45 percent and because of the penalty assessed for not consolidating.

A proposed bill that would exempt Union 60, which includes Greenville, Union 37 in Rangeley, and SAD 12 in Jackman, from the penalty is winding its way through the Legislature. School officials are using the rationale used to exclude island schools from the reorganization law. Instead of water, the towns are surrounded by mountains, trees and dilapidated roads, and are miles from other schools. If that bill is approved, Perry said the penalty amount would be placed into the fund balance and could not be used until next year.

The proposed budget reflects the fact the town will receive $8,210 in stabilization funds through the Stimulus package. It also includes a 3 percent increase in salary, the addition of a special education technician, and elimination of a library aid and a part-time custodian, according to Perry.

About $22,000 was reduced from transportation during budget deliberations because of a change in contracts. The school is now contracting bus services through SAD 4 instead of Rowell’s Garage in Dover-Foxcroft.

In addition, thanks to a competitive bid for fuel oil, the town and school reduced that cost. The school committee also changed providers for electricity that has resulted in a savings of about $1,000 a month, she said.

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