Voters to decide on $22.3 million SAD 1 budget at June 6 meeting

17 years ago

    PRESQUE ISLE, Maine – The SAD 1 board of directors adopted a 2007-2008 budget of $22,342,100 at its May 23 meeting – $6,412,500 of which would be passed on to property tax payers – and now the proposed funding will go to district voters.
    The district budget meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Wednesday, June 6 at the Presque Isle High School auditorium.
In discussing the proposed budget with directors last week, Superintendent Gehrig Johnson said the district is “addressing several concerns through our budget proposal.”
“We are heeding the call for tax relief as we propose decreasing total local property taxes for education by $276,150 or a little over 4 percent in our fiscal year,” he said. “The effective mill rate for education will drop from 12.9 mills this year to 11.6 mills next year based on average state valuations for the two years and based on the district’s fiscal year.
“As is the case for all school units,” said Johnson, “salaries and benefits represent the lion’s share (about 71 percent) of our budget. For next year, employment costs will go up about 3 percent reflecting a cost-of-living increase for all of our employees and the proportional increase in the district’s share of ever increasing medical insurance premiums. We are also recognizing the employment and other costs associated with providing services to other local educational units.”
At the district budget meeting, voters will decide on five monetary articles. Article 1 is to elect a moderator to preside over the meeting.
Article 2 concerns the state/local Essential Programs and Services funding allocation. In order to receive the state allocation of $14,413,049, SAD 1 must raise $4,113,204. Each municipality that comprises the district has been assessed a contribution as described in the EPS Funding Act. Castle Hill would be expected to pay $114,948, Chapman ($133,548), Mapleton ($570,648), Presque Isle ($3,143,772) and Westfield ($150,288).
Other articles to be voted on June 6 include:
• Article 3. Non-state Funded School Construction Debt Service.
This is the amount of money needed for the annual payments on the district’s long-term debt for major capital school construction – Presque Isle Middle School – that is not approved for state subsidy. The district is recommending $403,799. The bonding of this long-term debt was approved by district voters Nov. 4, 2003.
• Article 4. Additional Local Funds.
This is the money needed to balance the budget. The recommended amount is $1,749,977. Because the current EPS model includes a regional adjustment for salaries, benefits and substitute teachers, SAD 1’s subsidy was reduced by $923,685. In addition, the 100 percent EPS allocation calls for a state total share of $15,333,715 or $920,666 more than the district will actually receive in 2007-08.
“We anticipate a substantial increase in state funding through the EPS allocation mechanism,” said Johnson. “We are very pleased with the increased amount while we also note that under full EPS funding, we would have received nearly $1 million more.
“With the additional funds, we will be addressing some long deferred and much needed infrastructure projects,” he said. “We will also be purchasing two new school buses as we strive to upgrade our fleet.”
Some of the major improvement projects include repaving the Mapleton Elementary School parking lot, estimated at $30,000; exterior wall and window replacement on the west wing of Pine Street Elementary School ($15,000), east wing ($30,000), and south wing ($30,000); window and wall replacement on the west side wing of Zippel Elementary School ($20,000); gym roof covering at Presque Isle Middle School ($90,000), a fire alarm system at Presque Isle High School ($156,000), emergency generator at PIMS ($30,000), intercom/bell system replacement at PIHS ($30,000); and a track upgrade at the Johnson Athletic Complex at Presque Isle Middle School ($120,000).
• Article 5. Adult Education.
The district is recommending $145,520 locally for the adult education program. The state share for adult education is projected at $104,012 for fiscal year 2008.
• Article 6. Summary.
The district is recommending $22,342,100 for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2007 and ending June 30, 2008 from the foundation allocation, debt service allocation, unexpended balances, tuition receipts, local appropriations, state subsidy, block grants, and other receipts for the support of schools.
The public is encouraged to attend the Wednesday, June 6 district budget meeting.
Also at the May 23 board meeting, directors were notified of the following transfers: Christi Doyen, fifth-grade teacher at Zippel Elementary School to fourth-grade at Mapleton Elementary School; Peter Coffin, health and physical education at Presque Isle Middle School to full-time physical education teacher at PIMS; Marie Waddell, sixth-grade science at PIMS to health teacher at PIMS; Cathy Hotham, computer teacher at PIMS to fourth- and fifth-grade computer teacher at Zippel; and David Wheaton, special education teacher at Pine Street Elementary School to physical education teacher at Presque Isle High School.
In addition, Allison Reed has been hired as a guidance counselor/social worker at PIMS.
The next regular SAD 1 board meeting will follow the district budget meeting June 6 in the board conference room at Presque Isle High School.