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Rockland area school district sets public budget input sessions

By Stephen Betts | Apr 02, 2021
Photo by: Stephen Betts The RSU 13 Board met April 1.

Rockland — The public can offer comments about the proposed budget for the Rockland area school district at a pair of sessions to be held over the next two weeks.

The proposed 2021-2022 Regional School Unit 13 budget was unveiled April 1 by Business Manager Peter Orne. The proposed package totals $33,347,900 — a 3.9 percent ($1,252,900) increase from the voter approved 2020-2021 budget.

Business Manager Peter Orne called the package a status quo budget, since staffing levels remain the same and there are no additional programs.

The $1.25 million increase is due largely to salary and benefit increases. Salary increases account for $810,000 of the increase and benefits (largely health insurance) account for another $231,000 of the budget hike. Salary and benefits for employees account for 78 to 79 percent of the overall RSU 13 budget, Orne said.

The amount of local property taxes communities will need to raise to support the budget totals nearly $26.9 million, an increase of $845,000.

The additional local revenue to be generated by municipalities within RSU 13 is not divided equally due to factors including changes in student enrollment by community. Rockland will see the largest increase — $347,000 — that will raise its annual payments to the district to $10.7 million. Owls Head will see the next largest increase — $243,000 — bringing its total annual payments to $3.8 million.

South Thomaston will pay an additional $137,000, bringing its annual payments to nearly $3.5 million. Cushing will pay $78,000 more, bringing its total payments to $3.9 million. Thomaston will pay $39,000 more, reaching nearly $4.9 million.

The district has scheduled public input workshops for Tuesday, April 6 and Tuesday, April 13. Both meetings will be online. Speakers can get the link and password to appear on the Zoom meetings and ask questions or offer comments at rsu13.org/board.

Prior to the meetings, questions may be sent to the Board at comments@rsu13.org.

The board is then scheduled to meet online at 6:30 p.m. May 6 to vote on the budget.

A virtual budget hearing will be held for the public May 20.

And the final vote will be at the polls with the referendum scheduled in the five communities Tuesday, June 8.

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Comments (2)
Posted by: James York | Apr 04, 2021 21:32

"The amount of local property taxes communities will need to raise to support the budget totals nearly $26.9 million, an increase of $845,000"

Quite simply the towns and city need to set goals to develop property that will bring in revenue that meets or exceeds this anual number. It's not Rocket Science.... Encourage growth and development so tax payers don't get popped every year w a tax hike



Posted by: Crawford L Robinson | Apr 02, 2021 21:44

What's the use?



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