June 19, 2018
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Voters approve budgets for RSUs 24, 25

By Rich Hewitt, BDN Staff

ELLSWORTH, Maine — Two regional school units moved another step closer to officially reorganizing with the reaffirmation Tuesday of their school budgets for the coming year.

Voters in 12 towns in RSU 24 approved the $32 million budget adopted at the district budget meeting earlier this year by a combined vote of 706-346. Voters in the four RSU 25 towns approved the $14.9 million district budget by a combined vote of 264-99

The results of the votes still have to be certified by the respective RSU boards.

“I’m very pleased with the results; it was a good spread,” said RSU 25 Superintendent Jim Boothby. “To have the first budget approved is very important. Now we can focus on the work we still need to do.”

Boothby said the RSU board has reached an agreement with Camden National Bank to provide banking services for the RSU and has completed the survey work for the transfer of property from the individual towns to the RSU. The formal transfer of the property should be completed before July 1, when the RSU officially be-gins operation.

The RSU board also will begin committee work and will need to begin contract negotiations with one of the educational technology groups.

RSU 24 Superintendent Bill Webster also said he was pleased with the results of the voting, although he noted that in two towns, Steuben and Sullivan, the voters opposed the budget. Having adopted the budget, Webster repeated his view that the district will need to reduce districtwide spending in the face of dwindling state aid.

“There is still a lot of work we need to do to further reduce costs,” Webster said. “With this budget approved, we can do that in a thoughtful way, as opposed to having to get back quickly to the communities.”

Webster said work was moving along on reorganization.

“We’ll be ready,” he said. “We’ve got a payroll scheduled for July 2, and we’ll meet that payroll.”

In RSU 25, the voting results in the individual towns were: Bucksport, 130-46; Orland, 91-41; Verona Island, 19-2; and Prospect, 25-10.

The results in the individual towns in RSU 24 were: Ellsworth, 155-33; Eastbrook, 19-8; Franklin, 22-7; Gouldsboro, 132-57; Hancock, 65-8; Lamoine, 89-39; Mariaville, 25-1; Sorrento, 23-11; Steuben, 34-93; Sullivan, 39-42; Waltham, 21-7; Winter Harbor, 82-20.

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