East Millinocket school board restarts budget process

Posted July 02, 2013, at 8:21 p.m.

EAST MILLINOCKET, Maine — School board members accepted the defeat of their proposed $4.39 million budget and restarted the process Tuesday toward another set of public votes.

The East Millinocket School Committee voted 5-0 at Schenck High School on Tuesday to postpone until the budget is passed the special referendum on whether to repair the high school roof as part of a $1.8 million project, Superintendent Quenten Clark said.

“There would be just too much confusion if we tried to do both at the same time,” Clark said after the meeting.

The referendum on the school’s repair was set for July 18.

The budget failed to pass in a 283-133 vote during a special referendum on Thursday. Residents approved three more years of validation votes held after the annual town meeting, 286-132.

The election drew about 30 percent of the town’s 1,354 registered voters, a strong showing considering that the election happened in summertime, officials said.

The school board would need to cut about $225,000 to reach the goal set for it by the Board of Selectmen. To assist in the process, should school board members agree that more cuts are warranted, Clark compiled a list of $249,216 worth of budget cuts.

The list includes four half-time positions, including a special education teacher, a Spanish teacher, a secretary and a custodian. A second-grade position and a quarter-time English teacher’s job also would be cut, saving $142,249.

The show choir that Schenck High and Stearns High School of Millinocket students participate in would be cut for $2,000. The list also includes junior varsity baseball, basketball and softball positions for about $29,000 in cuts.

The school budget probably will be discussed generally among committee members when AOS 66 meets for a regular session on Tuesday. The meeting at which board members will decide on the budget will occur about a week later.

No meeting date has been set, Clark said.

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