Proposed Camden-area school districts’ budgets show slight cost rise for lower grades, bigger jump for high school

Posted March 26, 2014, at 12:17 p.m.

CAMDEN, Maine — Property owners in Camden and Rockport will only be asked to pay about 1 percent more for its elementary and middle schools next year but the high school costs will require more significant increases.

The School Administrative District 28 and the Five-Town Community School District boards met Tuesday night to present their budgets to the public.

Both budgets keep the custodial staff as employees of the districts. The boards conducted a study last year that found that no money would be saved by outsourcing janitorial services at the high school. However, the study showed contracting out custodial services could offer potential savings at the lower grades.

The public and staff turned out last year in support of keeping custodians on staff.

At Tuesday night’s meeting, parent James Cook thanked the board for keeping the custodial staff.

He said the effort of the SAD 28 board — which oversees kindergarten through eighth grades in Camden and Rockport — to keep costs down was admirable, and that it was in line with the 1.5 percent increase in the consumer price index for the past year.

The proposed SAD 28 budget for 2014-2015 is proposed at a little more than $12.5 million, a less than 2 percent increase in expenditure. Increased revenues, however, will limit the projected property tax increase caused by school spending to 1.2 percent.

Camden will be paying about $58,000 more, bringing its SAD 28 total commitment to slightly more than $6.2 million. Rockport will be paying $78,000 more under the proposed budget with its share reaching more than $5.2 million.

The proposed SAD 28 budget adds one middle school teacher due to increased enrollment. It also would add a social worker.

The proposed Five-Town CSD budget for 2014-2015 adds up to nearly $11.9 million, an increase of nearly 4 percent (nearly $450,000).

Reduced revenues for the operation of the high school means that the proposed Five-Town CSD budget would require an overall property-tax increase of nearly 6.5 percent from the school district’s five communities.

Rockport would see the greatest increase, with its share rising 8 percent ($285,000), reaching slightly more than $3.8 million under the proposed budget. Camden’s share would increase 6 percent ($224,000) to nearly $3.8 million.

Lincolnville would see an increase of about 4 percent ($66,000) to $1.6 million. Hope’s projected increase would be about 6 percent ($31,000) to $573,000. And Appleton’s share is proposed to increase less than 4 percent ($15,000) to $427,000.

The Five-Town CSD board is expected to take a final vote on the budget on Wednesday, April 2.

The districtwide meeting at which the public will vote on the proposed budget is scheduled for 7 p.m. May 27, in Strom Auditorium at the high school.

The SAD 28 board is expected to take a final vote on the budget at 7 p.m. April 16. The district meeting for this budget is scheduled for 6 p.m. May 27, at Strom.

The referendum to validate or reject both proposed school budgets will be held at the polls in each town on June 10.

SEE COMMENTS →

ADVERTISEMENT | Grow your business
ADVERTISEMENT | Grow your business

Similar Articles

More in Midcoast