HAMPDEN, Maine — Voters in the three towns that make up SAD 22 on Tuesday overwhelmingly supported a $25.6 million school budget for the 2011-12 fiscal year.
Hampden residents voted 727-272, Winterport residents 121-68 and Newburgh residents 41-30 to approve a budget that was approved by the district’s board of directors last week.
The budget increases expenses by 13 percent over the current year, but most of that increase is tied up in debt service associated with construction of a new $51.6 million Hampden Academy. The construction debt of $2.3 million for next year is required to be included in the budget, but SAD 22 will receive reimbursement from the Maine Department of Education for that item.
Without the debt service, the budget shows an increase of about 1 percent to taxpayers, or an extra $39,477 from Hampden, $24,538 from Winterport and $16,868 from Newburgh.
The 2011-12 budget eliminates one full-time position and five part-time teaching positions spread throughout the district’s schools. SAD 22 Superintendent Rick Lyons said the budget also reflects the impact of at least eight teachers taking advantage of an early retirement incentive.
“It’s a budget that’s very responsive of the challenges we face, but it also does not significantly change curricula or service to students,” Lyons said earlier in the budget process.