RSU 50 voters pass budget on second try

By Jen Lynds, BDN Staff
Posted Sept. 09, 2011, at 7:54 p.m.

STACYVILLE, Maine — Although some towns still have to report their returns, officials in RSU 50 said Friday afternoon that they believe voters have passed the school budget after a second trip to the ballot box on Wednesday.

The $9 million budget was amended from the $9.2 million that was first proposed. The amendments were made during a special meeting last month after voters rejected the first proposal in July.

The new RSU is made up of the former SAD 25 and CSD 9 and serves the communities of Dyer Brook, Crystal, Hersey, Island Falls, Merrill, Moro, Mt. Chase, Oakfield, Patten, Sherman, Smyrna and Stacyville.

During last month’s meeting, the school board cut an additional $60,000 off the budget at the request of taxpayers. That was on top of the $250,000 that the school board cut after the first proposed budget was rejected.

Those $60,000 in cuts included four elementary school teaching positions, all of which were vacant at the time. No jobs were lost because of those cuts.

The majority of the towns in RSU 50 will see a tax increase, because the RSU saw a substantial decrease in state funding. For the 2011-2012 school year, RSU 50 will receive $4.7 million from the state, which is down approximately $278,000 from last year. A $161,928 reduction in federal stimulus funds also factored into the budget.

As was the case in SAD 29 in Houlton, the RSU had to raise more money as its local share for education in order to receive full state aid. The required local share was $2.3 million, which is up 2.5 percent over last year.

The school board also used $400,000 in surplus funds to offset taxation.

http://bangordailynews.com/2011/09/09/news/aroostook/rsu-50-voters-pass-budget-on-second-try/ printed on April 24, 2014