Voters throughout the Mid-coast region on Tuesday endorsed school budgets for the 2012-13 academic year.

State law requires yearly referendums on local public education spending. Significant reductions in state subsidy to the Brunswick school district, coupled with reduced revenue from federal sources and in tuition, spurred town officials to rely more heavily on local funding in this year’s proposed school budget.

In Regional School Unit 1, a new legal opinion on how to share local costs triggered a recalculation of the five member communities’ appropriation.

Following deliberations that in some cases dated back to March, voters Tuesday endorsed those school budgets, as well as spending plans for Lisbon, Regional School Unit 2 and Regional School Unit 5.

All school budget validation votes offered a simple “yes” or “no” choice.


Brunswick voters soundly approved a $33.5 million school department budget, which represents approximately 61 percent of an overall municipal budget of around $54.7 million.

Voters passed the spending plan by a wide margin, with 1,628 voters approving the budget and 708 rejecting the plan.

The total budget package means a 5.45 percent increase in property taxes, or around $258 annually for a home assessed at $200,000, heading into the next fiscal year.

The school budget was at the heart of that increase after losses in state and federal funding brought the School Board to request more in local funds for a budget that comes in just 0.5 percent higher than last year’s spending plan.

SAD 75

Voters in each of the four towns that make up School Administrative District 75 approved the budget of $33,394,830, which is a 2.44 percent increase from 2011-12.

With a total tally of 184-67, Bowdoin approved the budget as did Bowdoinham with a 273-80 vote; Harpswell with a 615-279 vote; and Topsham with a 909-307 vote.

The budget is projected to raise the cumulative local contribution by 0.52 percent.


Voters in the five communities that make up Regional School Unit 1 — Arrowsic, Bath, Phippsburg, West Bath and Woolwich — approved the $25 million budget proposed for 2012-13 by more than a 2-to-1 margin, despite objections by some officials in Bath and elsewhere about a recent change to the costsharing formula that provides local funds to the schools.

Residents of RSU 1 communities cast a total of 1,438 ballots in favor of the figure, with 697 opposed.

Arrowsic residents voted to approve the budget 68-24, while Bath approved it 729- 335, according to official results.

Phippsburg passed the proposed budget, 187-119. West Bath voters endorsed the budget, 171-83, and Woolwich residents approved the budget, 283-136.


The Regional School Unit 2 budget for 2012-13 passed Tuesday at the polls of the five members towns, including Richmond and Dresden.

Approved by an overall tally of 1,567-747 votes was a $23,136,806 budget, representing a 0.5 percent (or $125,289) decrease from 2011-12. However, the 2012-13 budget calls for a 3.6 percent increase in the total local contribution due to a drop in state and federal subsidies.

Richmond passed the budget by a vote of 270-172; Monmouth by 361-271; Dresden by 174-99; Hallowell by 438-95; and Farmingdale by 324-110.


Voters in Regional School Unit 5 passed a nearly $25 million budget in voting Tuesday, despite opposition from a majority of Pownal voters.

People took to the polls in Freeport, Durham and Pownal Tuesday to express support or opposition to a bottom line suggested by the school board and adjusted in a townmeeting style hearing in late May.

A total of 1,258 Freeport voters came out in support of the budget, with 354 opposed; Durham saw 314 support the spending plan with 247 opposed; and Pownal voters dissented, with 146 opposed to the budget and 105 in support.

For Durham, that plan represents a 6.11 percent —

$185,339 — increase over the town’s education budget last year; in Freeport, the approved increase comes in at 1.76 percent — $231,342 — over last year; for Pownal, the increase comes in at 5.48 percent — $91,511 — over last year.


Lisbon voters approved by a 534-264 vote Tuesday a 2012-13 school budget of $14,156,478 including adult education — an increase of 2.9 percent from 2011-12.

Ward 1 voted 248-111 for the budget and Ward 2 voted 286- 153 to approve the budget and had a total voter turnout of 12.8 percent.

This budget contains a total local contribution of $5,460,073, including adult education, which represents a 3.5 percent or $184,292 increase.

Comments are not available on this story.

filed under: