HOULTON, Maine — After trimming an additional $75,000 off a budget that already featured a $58,623 decrease over the current year and a $300,000 reduction in the local assessment to the four towns in the district, Superintendent Steve Fitzpatrick said Tuesday that he believes voters in SAD 29 will be happy with the district’s newly revised 2010-11 budget.
District officials will hold a public meeting Thursday evening to go over the $11.8 million budget. A question-and-answer period will be held at 6 p.m. in the Southside School gymnasium. The meeting, which will include a vote on the budget, will start at 6:30 p.m.
The district consists of the towns of Houlton, Hammond, Littleton and Monticello.
Earlier this month, the SAD 29 board rejected the proposed $11.9 million budget and sent it back to the budget committee for further review. Despite seeing a lower budget, the board wanted another $75,000 shaved off the bottom line.
Fitzpatrick said Tuesday that he went back over the budget after receiving the request from the school board and trimmed additional money from the personnel budget. He also used some money from the district’s carryover account to adhere to the board’s request.
The district received $160,000 less in state aid this year. Fitzpatrick originally anticipated the cutback would be $192,000.
The superintendent said the revised budget contains a lower assessment for the four towns and has more programming to benefit 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 because of retirements.
The district also did not have to spend as much money on fuel this year as the district has 10,000 gallons left over at the high school after implementing energy efficiency measures.
If the budget is approved Thursday evening, the district budget validation referendum will be held June 8.