Scarborough voters returned to familiar territory Tuesday when they soundly rejected a proposed $47.4 million school budget that would have increased spending by $718,000 or 3.4 percent in the coming year.

The vote was 2,408 to 1,822, with 57 percent of voters casting ballots against the 2017-18 spending proposal. A second referendum must be held in the coming weeks.

Last year, 56 percent of town voters approved a $47.5 million school budget for 2016-17 that was $2.3 million or 5 percent higher than the previous year.

But in 2015, voters rejected the school budget twice before finally passing a spending plan with 61 percent of the vote, and that was the third year in a row that Scarborough had battled over its school budget through multiple referendums.

The town is anticipating a $1.4 million reduction in state education aid in the fiscal year starting July 1 – part of a nearly $5 million, or 70 percent, reduction over the last decade, largely because of its thriving commercial tax base.

Also on Tuesday, 72 percent of voters agreed to borrow as much as $687,482 to replace the 29-year-old public works fueling station as required by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection. The vote was 2,971 to 1,160.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: