BELFAST, Maine — The voters of the nine towns in RSU 20 approved the district’s $33.3 million budget in voting on Tuesday.
Final numbers were not available, but RSU 20 Superintendent Bruce Mailloux said Wednesday that passage seemed likely, given the results he had seen.
“It looks like it passed by a 2-1 margin,” he said.
Voters in Belfast, Belmont, Morrill, Northport and Swanville also voted Tuesday on a petition to investigate withdrawing from RSU 20. Unofficial results showed strong approval of the proposal, Mailloux said. Those towns, along with Searsmont, which will vote on July 10 the proposal to withdraw, make up the former SAD 34. A public hearing on the Searsmont referendum is scheduled for June 28.
RSU 20 currently also includes Searsport, Stockton Springs and Frankfort, the towns that made up the former SAD 56. Frankfort residents already have voted to investigate leaving the district.
Votes in favor of investigating withdrawing only initiates the process. Withdrawing from the RSU could not occur until another vote is taken, after a local committee studies the implications for the community.
The approved budget for the next school year shows a 1.3 percent, or $600,000, increase over this year’s budget.
The budget, first approved last week at a validation meeting, will result in education costs rising by 17 percent in Northport, by 12 percent in Swanville and by 9.5 percent in Belfast. Only the three former SAD 56 towns of Searsport, Stockton Springs and Frankfort will see local assessments for schools decrease.
The district will receive $756,552 less in federal and state revenue this year.