HAMPDEN, Maine — Voters in Hampden, Newburgh and Winterport — the three towns that comprise SAD 22 — handily approved a $22.7 million school budget and also voted to keep the practice of school budget referendums for another three years.
Hampden voted 1,348 to 489, Newburgh 234-157 and Winterport 642-362 on the budget. The margins of victory on the question of whether to continue voting on budgets were even higher.
SAD 22 Superintendent Rick Lyons said support for the 2010-11 budget might have been the strongest since the voter approval process began.
“I think the process has worked wonderful for us,” he said. “Voters like it because they are more involved.”
The school budget, which was approved by the SAD 22 board of directors last month, reflects a 1.6 percent increase in local taxpayer support but also includes cuts to three main areas.
First, Hampden consolidated its two elementary school principal positions into one principal and one assistant principal, saving about $60,000. Second, students from Newburgh Elementary School, which has had declining enrollment, will be moved to Hampden, saving about $58,000. Finally, the position of assistant curriculum administrator will be eliminated, saving $51,000.
The budget also includes a salary freeze for teachers and administrators who are at the top of their respective pay scales.
Altogether, the three towns’ taxpayer shares total more than $8 million after taking out state contributions and other revenue sources.