BATH — It’s turning out to be another smooth budget season for Regional School Unit 1.

Monday’s second public hearing on a $33.7 million spending plan – a nearly 12% hike over the current fiscal year – elicited no public comment, similar to the first hearing March 25.

The RSU 1 Board of Directors is due May 6 to adopt the budget, which then goes to two votes by district residents: a May 28 district budget meeting, and a June 11 budget validation referendum.

Superintendent Patrick Manuel said Tuesday that he hopes RSU 1’s Bath, Arrowsic, Phippsburg and Woolwich residents have had an adequate opportunity in recent weeks to offer input or express concerns about the budget, which remains unchanged since last month’s rollout.

“We haven’t had a whole lot of that this budget process,” he noted. “We’re hopeful that people are seeing us as being responsible through this budget process and transparent.”

Most of the proposed $3.6 million increase comes from $3.4 million in debt service toward the construction of a new Morse High School, a hike of $2.2 million (187%).

Without that expense, the budget would be $31.4 million, an increase of $1.3 million (4.42%), according to Finance Director Debra Clark.

Offsetting expenditures is $13.1 million in state subsidy, which includes $2.3 million toward debt service. With all revenues subtracted, the remaining $18.6 million is to be assessed to RSU 1’s communities and represents a 2% increase.

Of that amount, Bath would be taxed $10.7 million (up 2.54%), Arrowsic $493,000 (down 10.3%), Phippsburg nearly $3 million (down 0.03%), and Woolwich $4.4 million (up 3.7%).

The estimated school budget impact on a $100,000 home would be a $15.64 increase in Bath and $25.71 hike in Woolwich, and decreases of $69.26 in Arrowsic and 77 cents in Phippsburg.

Alex Lear can be reached at 780-9085 or [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter: @learics.

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