February 18, 2018
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More cuts being made to SAD 29 budget

By Jen Lynds, BDN Staff

HOULTON, Maine — SAD 29 Superintendent Steve Fitzpatrick is working to shave an additional $75,000 from the district’s more than $11.9 million budget to meet a request from the district’s budget committee.

Fitzpatrick said Wednesday that he has trimmed some additional money from the personnel budget and will be looking to use some funding from the district’s carryover account to meet requests imposed by the committee during a meeting Monday night.

The district consists of the towns of Houlton, Hammond, Littleton and Monticello.

Last week, the SAD 29 board rejected the budget and sent it back to the budget committee for further review. This year’s budget already features a $58,623 decrease over the current year and contains a $300,000 reduction in the local assessment to the four towns in the district.

The district received $160,000 less in state aid this year, although Fitzpatrick originally anticipated a $192,000 cutback in state aid.

The superintendent said he is hesitant to take much money out of the carryover account, as the valuations in the four towns in the district often are in flux, and the district has to prepare for “rainy days.”

Fitzpatrick said last month that the $11.9 million budget was a good fiscal forecast for both students and taxpayers, as it contains a lower assessment for the four towns and has more programming to benefit the students. The district added two positions to improve math programming but reduced costs by leaving some educational technician positions vacant and not filling some positions left open due to retirements.

Fitzpatrick said he expects to present his revised budget to the budget committee during a meeting Friday.

“After that, I hope it can go to the school board for their approval, so that I can have it to the voters for a June referendum,” the superintendent said Wednesday.

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