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MSAD 1 voters pass budget on second try, MSAD 42 residents OK roof work

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — On the second round of voting on the same budget, voters in Castle Hill, Chapman, Mapleton, Presque Isle and Westfield approved their school district’s 2018-2019 budget Tuesday. Meanwhile, residents of Mars Hill and Blaine approved funding repairs to an elementary school roof in MSAD 42.

All of MSAD 1’s five communities voted to approve the budget, with a total 1,077 voting yes and 834 voting no. In Presque Isle, 737 voted yes and 538 voted no. The closest margins were in Castle Hill and Chapman, which voted 44-39 and 46-37 respective.  

The district’s budget previously failed during a May 1 referendum by a vote of 322 to 246, though MSAD 1 officials decided to put the same budget back to the voters before making changes. This also was the first year that the budget referendum appeared first in May, rather than during the June primary vote.

Of the $24.7 million 2018-2019 budget, $8.8 million will come from local property taxes. Across the district, the budget will bring an average increase of 4 percent for the school portion of property taxes, spread out over two municipal tax years.

Presque Isle taxpayers will see the school portion of their property taxes increase 2.9 percent, while the other towns will see increases ranging from 4.5 percent to 7.8 percent, due to changes in the state government’s valuations of real estate within the district.

In Mars Hill and Blaine, voters were asked to approve spending up to $300,000 on a project to repair and re-shingle the roof at Fort Street Elementary School. That passed with 286 yes votes and 46 no votes.

Maine School Administrative District 42 Superintendent Elaine Boulier said an engineer previously estimated the cost of the project at $225,000, but the district has not yet issued a request for proposals.

Correction: A previous version of this article misidentified MSAD 42 in Mars Hill.

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