$4.1 million Machias school budget passes

Posted May 31, 2011, at 9:20 p.m.

MACHIAS, Maine — The proposed $4.1 million Machias school budget — all 17 articles — passed with little discussion Tuesday night.

The final 2011-2012 budget represents a 2.39 percent increase over this year, or about $99,411.

After the meeting, Superintendent Scott Porter said the budget actually represents a decrease in Machias’ tax rate from $10.80 per $1,000 valuation to $10.54. He said this was because of a change in the town’s valuation and the ability to carry a larger balance forward.

About 25 people attended the budget meeting, including Town Manager Chris Loughlin and four Machias selectmen. Douglas Guy moderated the meeting.

The only objections to any articles came from former educator Richard Larson.

“I have some concerns, not with the expenditures, but with the revenues,” Larson said. He explained that with an $8,000 decrease in tuition revenue, he could not support a $62,728 increase in the elementary education budget.

Larson had high praise for the administrators and educators but said that tuition to Machias that is paid by surrounding towns is based on last year’s expenditures and therefore Machias taxpayers alone will have to pay for the increases up front, including a 21 percent increase in special education costs.

In individual areas, the budget dropped at Machias High School by more than $71,000, but increases included $88,974 for special education, $6,639 for general administration, $2,000 for the school committee, and $10,000 for adult education programs.

Machias is expected to receive $1.468 million in state subsidy, which is $2,379 more than last year.

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