SAD 28, Five Town CSD budgets heads to voters May 23

By Louis Bettcher | May 11, 2017

Rockport — Members of the public will vote on whether to validate the proposed budgets for School Administrative District 28 and the Five Town CSD on Tuesday, May 23 at the Camden Hills Regional High School.

Pending the outcome, the budgets will appear as separate warrant articles on the June ballot.

The first meeting at Camden Hills will commence at 6 p.m. and seek a vote on the budget for schools within SAD 28 — Camden-Rockport Elementary and Camden Rockport Middle School. Directly following this a public vote will be taken on the Five Town CSD budget for Camden Hills Regional High School, which is attended by students from Camden, Rockport, Hope, Appleton and Lincolnville.

In April the school boards of each administrative districts approved the budgets as proposed.

SAD 28

The total budget proposed is $13.36 million, up $248,000 or 1.9 percent overall. The projected increase to taxpayers, based on an assessment of $12 million, is $212,700 or 1.7 percent from the previous year.

An increase of approximately $62,000 in state subsidies may offset some anticipated expenses including an 8.6 percent percent or $159,000 budget increase in the special education department. This increase in spending includes a director of Psychiatric Services position, as well as two additional behavioral health professionals.

Instruction costs are up 3.4 percent or $176,000 overall. Increases to other instruction costs, such as summer school, raised that budget by $20,000 or 21 percent. Transportation costs are up $28,700 or 4.2 percent.

Reductions to the budget include a decrease of $41,000 or 3.2 percent to the district's debt service. Operations and maintenance costs are also down $116,000 or 6.2 percent. Technical services are down by $35,000 or 15 percent as a result of leasing versus buying equipment.

Camden Hills

The total CSD budget is for $12.7 million in total expenditures, up $325,000 or 2.6 percent from the previous year. The projected increase to taxpayers, based on an assessment of $9.9 million, will be $366,000 or 3.7 percent. The spending packet reflects a loss of 2.5 percent or nearly $49,000 in state aid.

The budget saw increases of $175,000 or 3.7 percent to instruction costs, due to the addition of a half instructor position in the English department and a half position in the Strom Auditorium. Costs in special education spending increased the department's budget by $69,000 or 6.3 percent. Transportation costs are also up by $29,000 or 7 percent.

There is a decrease of $55,000 to the debt service, which is down 4.5 percent from the previous year. Spending for student and staff support is down by $35,700 or 3 percent, as a result of a staff change and a reduction in co-curricular stipends. Operations and maintenance are down $20,000 or 1.5 percent through putting $100,000 from the Maintenance Reserve toward department projects.

Members of the public who attend the validation meetings on May 23 will be able to vote to change either board-recommended budgets before they appear on the June 13 ballot. Detailed budget packets for SAD 28 and the Five Town CSD can be viewed on each district's website via fivetowns.net.

Courier Publications reporter Louis Bettcher can be reached at 236-8511 or by email at lbettcher@villagesoup.com.

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