Frenchville, St. Agatha voters to consider budget

Posted May 23, 2011, at 10:10 p.m.

FRENCHVILLE — Voters in Frenchville and St. Agatha will be asked to approve on May 31 a school budget that has dropped 3.5 percent over last year.

Despite the smaller budget, taxpayers still will be asked during the district meeting that day to contribute 2.5 percent toward the local share.

Fern Desjardins, superintendent of SAD 33, said late last week that the district’s board of directors approved the $3.4 million 2011-2012 budget at a special meeting on May 19.

The district has three schools in the towns of Frenchville and St. Agatha.

The superintendent said the board made $123,000 in cuts to reduce the budget, including eliminating two educational technician positions and part of a secretary’s position.

Desjardins said the state’s share of the contribution for education to the district has dropped 7 percent since last year, necessitating the additional 2.5 percent from local taxpayers. Frenchville will contribute 43.8 percent of the local share and St. Agatha will contribute 56.2 percent. Each town’s share is based on their town valuation.

Frenchville’s contribution to the local share will increase by $3,014 from the current year. St. Agatha’s contribution will be up by $15,646.

“The district is not raising any additional local funds beyond what is required by the state,” said Desjardins. “In fact, the school board voted to raise only 82.22 percent of the required local contribution. For next year, that percentage is the minimum amount a school system can raise to still get its full share of state subsidy.”

Residents of Frenchville and St. Agatha will vote on the district’s budget at 7 p.m. May 31 during the annual meeting at the Dr. Levesque Elementary School in Frenchville.  Residents will then go to the polls on Tuesday, June 14, for a referendum vote on the budget approved at the annual meeting. Frenchville will hold the referendum vote between 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. at their Community Center. The polls in St. Agatha will be open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the town office.

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