FREEPORT — Voters in Regional School Unit 5 on Tuesday approved a budget of more than $29.4 million, almost entirely on the strength of support in Freeport.

Freeport voters approved the budget 917-378. Durham rejected the budget 376-142, and Pownal defeated it 204-117.

“The board is very pleased,” RSU 5 Chairman Nelson Larkins said of the final tally of 1,176 to 958. “We understand that the increase is a lot to taxpayers, but the increases are critical to what we need to accomplish in the coming year.”

The increase of $2.1 million, or 7.77 percent, will result in $1.4 million in additional property taxes in Freeport, or a 7.57 percent increase. Taxpayers will see an increase to $1.02 per $1,000 of assessed value.

Taxpayers in Durham will see an increase of 8.71 percent, to $1.45 per $1,000 of assessed value. In Pownal, there will be an increase of 8.58 percent, to $2.96 per $1,000 of assessed value.

Much of the increase comes from increases in salaries and benefits for existing employees, as well as the creation of new positions.

Kate Gardner can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 125 or [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter: @katevgardner.

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