The Star-Herald

PI residents approve $27.5 million SAD 1 budget

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — Presque Isle residents unanimously approved a $27,493,905 spending plan for SAD 1 in a Tuesday evening meeting that lasted about 25 minutes.

The figure represents a $993,201, or 3.7 percent, increase over last year’s budget.

There is no new tax increase represented in the budget for the coming school year, Superintendent Ben Greenlaw said. The budget includes a 30 percent increase in fuel for heating and transportation due to ongoing price hikes, and 8 percent increase for health insurance. Position eliminations and higher state subsidies helped the district hold the local tax level steady.

More than 35 residents and SAD 1 school board members attended the May 17 session in the Presque Isle High School cafeteria.

Position eliminations from last year include two facilities managers, a part-time bus driver, a science and an English instructor at Presque Isle High School, a library technician and a part-time health secretary. The district added educational technician positions in English language learning and special education and also allowed for a 3 percent salary/benefits increase, the superintendent said.

All of the district’s programming will stay as is for the next school year.

City resident Frank Bemis was elected to serve as moderator for the event and was sworn in by Greenlaw.

The district will receive $15,536,166 in state subsidies for the 2022-23 school year, an increase of $723,731 from last year. In order to receive the full amount from the state, the district must contribute $5,610,893 as its required local share.

But since the district wants to spend more than the state says is necessary for essential programs and services, SAD 1 will need to raise an additional $2,772,773 in local funds as recommended by the school board. 

Those attending voted 55-0 by written ballot to raise the funds as proposed.

Residents voted verbally to approve each of the following articles, and then the budget as a whole: $9,426,773 for school instruction; $3,754,397 for special education; $1,751,655 for career and technical education; $1,021,595 for other instruction; $2,450,228 for student and staff support; $758,815 for system administration; $1,356,318 for school administration; $2,812,601 for transportation and buses; $3,598,200 for facilities maintenance; $238,323 for debt service; and $325,000 for other expenditures, which includes school lunch.

The property tax contributions from SAD 1 communities are $8,812,750, down more than $5,065 from the 2021-22 school year. Tax levies include: Castle Hill, $304,921 (up $527 from last year); Chapman, $354,273 (down $4,780); Mapleton, $1,507,862 (up $5,494); Presque Isle, $6,293,185 (down $8,997); and Westfield, $352,510 (up $2,692).

The total budget excluded adult education. Residents voted to have the district appropriate $363,742 for adult education and raise $190,761 as the local share.

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