HOULTON, Maine — Voters in the four towns in SAD 29 have approved the district’s 2010-11 school budget and also decided to continue having a referendum vote on the budget in the future.
District officials said Wednesday that about 75 percent of the voters approved the $11.8 million budget.
The budget is down more than $133,000 over the current year and includes a $300,000 reduction in the local assessment to the four towns in the district consisting of Houlton, Hammond, Littleton and Monticello. The district received $160,000 less in state aid this year.
The 2010-11 budget 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 after retirements.
The district also spent less on fuel this year because of energy efficiency measures that resulted in 10,000 leftover gallons of fuel.
Last month, the SAD 29 board rejected a 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.
Superintendent Stephen Fitzpatrick 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.
On Tuesday, voters were asked to decide whether they wanted to continue the school budget referendum process. Voters opted to continue the process.