Voters approve Five Town CSD, SAD 28 school budgets

By Louis Bettcher | Jun 13, 2018
Aerial view of the Camden Hills Regional High School

Voters from Camden, Rockport, Lincolnville, Hope and Appleton approved the Five Town CSD budget for the 2018-19 school year on June 12. The SAD 28 budget was approved by voters in Camden and Rockport.

SAD 28 includes Camden-Rockport Elementary School and Camden-Rockport Middle School. The Five Town CSD consists of Camden Hills Regional High School.

SAD 28 budget and voting results:

Camden residents voted 1394 to 416 in favor of the proposed budget.

Rockport residents voted 786 to 256 in favor of the budget.

The total budget proposed for SAD 28 is approximately $15.7 million, which is an increase of $2.3 million, or 17 percent, from the previous year. The increase to taxpayers in Camden and Rockport is expected to be $2 million, or 17 percent.

The largest itemized increase in the proposed SAD 28 budget is $3.3 million for the district's debt service, up from $1.2 million the previous year. This is an increase of roughly $2 million, or 170 percent.

The $2 million represents the first bond payment for the new Camden-Rockport Middle School. The total CRMS bond payment for the 2018-19 fiscal year is estimated at $2.1 million. The existing debt service interest expense will be reduced by $27,000.

The preliminary SAD 28 budget also includes $88,000 in spending for the Mary E. Taylor building and the new middle school facility that will be built on Knowlton Street in Camden. Fifteen thousand dollars is categorized as "Board, legal, MET," and $8,000 is set aside to send a proposal for use of the MET building out to referendum this fall. Another $40,000 is earmarked for operations and maintenance costs, as well as architect's fees for the proposal. And $25,000 is devoted to potentially acquiring Livestream camera equipment for use in both districts.

Five Town CSD budget and voting results:

Camden residents voted 1426 to 373 in favor of the CSD budget.

Rockport residents voted 802 to 227 in favor of the budget.

Appleton residents voted 233 to 122 in favor of the budget.

Hope residents voted 368 to 126 in favor of the budget.

Lincolnville residents voted 615 to 113 in favor of the budget.

The total budget desired by the Five Town CSD is approximately $12.5 million, reflecting a decrease of $157,000, or about 1 percent, from the previous year. The expected increase to taxpayers in Camden, Rockport, Hope, Lincolnville and Appleton is $105,000, or one percent, as the result of a decrease in state subsidy in the amount of $310,000.

The largest proposed change to the CSD budget from the previous fiscal year is a decrease of $1 million, or 94 percent, in the Mid-Coast School of Technology program assessment. Last year the district contributed $1 million to the MCST program assessment, but this year only $62,000 is requested -- the result of a new funding formula.

Because the Five Town CSD includes a number of member towns that are considered minimum receivers (i.e., they have high property valuations), the Five Town CSD received minimal state funding for technical education expenses.

The Five Town CSD's share of debt service for the new MCST building is $800,031 and is recorded in the debt service cost center. There will be a significant decrease next year in interest expense for Camden Hills in the amount of $166,423, resulting in a net increase to debt service of $633,608.

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