School Administrative District 61 on Tuesday will ask for approval of its $26.1 million budget from residents of Bridgton, Casco, Naples and Sebago.

The proposed 2011-2012 budget represents a 3.6 percent increase over the current year’s $25.2 million budget.

About 75 people attended a public hearing and district budget meeting last Tuesday at Lake Region High School, where the residents overwhelmingly approved the budget in a town-meeting-style vote.

Polls will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday for the budget validation vote.

Patrick Phillips, superintendent of the Bridgton-based district, said the increase in the budget is due to a $200,000 rise in health insurance rates and an initial $700,000 debt-service payment on the high school and vocational school renovation project.

During the renovation project, a toxic chemical — polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs — was discovered in the school.

Residents at the referendums Tuesday will also vote on whether to use $250,000 from the district’s capital reserve fund for the removal and abatement of PCBs.

The referendums will be at the Bridgton Town Hall, Casco Community Center, Naples Municipal Building and Sebago Town Office.

The budget’s effect on taxes varies from town to town. Each town’s contribution is based on a formula that takes into account the town’s property valuation and its number of students enrolled in the district.

Staff Writer Leslie Bridgers can be contacted at: 791-6364 or at

lbridgers@mainetoday.com