SAD 1 voters pass 2023-24 school budget

9 months ago

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — Residents from five towns approved the 2023-24 SAD 1 school budget with a vote of 173-65 at the polls on Wednesday.

The 2023-24 budget of 29.1 million, up $1.6 million from last year, was voted in by the school board during a special meeting on May 3. Presque Isle residents approved a draft of the school budget during the school district budget meeting on May 16.

The amount to be raised from taxes is 5.83 percent more than in the 2022-23 school budget. It will be the first time in five years the school district has asked for an increase in local taxes.

“We are pleased the budget passed and it’s the fifth year the budget has received approval,” SAD 1 superintendent Ben Greenlaw said.

Turnout for this year’s school budget vote was slightly smaller compared with previous years. Approximately 257 residents voted on the school budget in 2021, according to Greenlaw.

In the 2023-24 budget, salaries are $15,806,742, reflecting an increase of $583,439 from last year’s amount of $15,223,303. Benefits are at $6,676,724, increased by $605,176 from last year’s $6,071,548.

In 2022, Presque Isle residents unanimously voted to pass a 27.5 million SAD 1 budget that was a 3.7 percent increase over the previous school budget.

The votes for the school budget are tallied between five different municipalities that SAD 1 covers. The one ballot yes or no vote on the 2023-2024 school budget went out to residents of Presque Isle, Chapman, Castle Hill, Mapleton and Westfield.

The vote lasted from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. with the results reported to SAD 1 at around 10 p.m.