FARMINGTON – A fourth validation referendum will be held in all 10 RSU 9 towns Tuesday, determining whether or not the $33.6 million budget approved at the Oct. 11 meeting will be enacted for the remainder of the fiscal year.
Referendum votes and meetings have seen a sharp uptick in participation as the district entered its third and fourth iterations of the budget process. More than 300 residents attended the Sept. 5 meeting, resulting in approximately $980,000 in reductions to the school board’s recommended budget, with 4,500 voters rejecting that budget at the Sept. 12 referendum. More than 500 voters attended the Oct. 11 budget meeting, approving the $33.6 million budget recommended by the board.
At the Oct. 11 meeting meeting, voters approved the board’s proposed $33,637,093 budget for the 2017-18 fiscal year. If validated Tuesday, the budget would represent a 2.71 percent increase over the previous fiscal year. It would result in more than a 2 percent decrease in local property tax assessments as compared to the previous fiscal year, or $267,444 less.
According to the town assessment projections relating to the budget, three towns would see tax assessment increases and seven towns would see decreases relating to the school budget. Specifically, Chesterville would be assessed $939,060, $2,973 more than the 2016-17 assessment or an increase of .32 percent. Farmington would be assessed $4,519,221, $108,489 less than the 2016-17 assessment or a decrease of 2.34 percent. Industry would be assessed $819,946, $11,345 more than the 2016-17 assessment or an increase of 1.4 percent. New Sharon would be assessed $998,329, $26,670 less than the 2016-17 assessment or a decrease of 2.6 percent. New Vineyard would be assessed $700,739, $4,726 less than the 2016-17 assessment or a decrease of .67 percent. Starks would be assessed $380,275, $21,582 more than the 2016-17 assessment or an increase of 6.02 percent. Temple would be assessed $418,702, $21,672 less than the 2016-17 assessment or a decrease of 4.9 percent. Vienna would be assessed $685,517, $14,242 less than the 2016-17 assessment or a decrease of 2.04 percent. Weld would be assessed $462,791, $7,696 less than the 2016-17 assessment or a decrease of 1.64 percent. Wilton would be assessed $2,769,914, $119,939 less than the 2016-17 assessment or a decrease of 4.15 percent.
The $33.6 million budget is identical in its bottom line to the budget presented at the Sept. 5 meeting. Directors did shift $126,000 out of contingency and fuel lines to cover two, out-of-district placements and to add a part-time nurse position to the budget to meet the needs of three students.
The validation vote will take place in all 10 towns. Would-be voters should check all poll times, as some may have changed since the last vote.
Chesterville Town Office, from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Farmington Community Center, from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Industry Town Hall, from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m.
New Sharon Town Office, from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m.
New Vineyard Smith Hall, from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Starks Community Center, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Temple Town Hall, from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Vienna Fire Station, from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Weld Town Office, from 4 to 8 p.m.
Wilton Town Office, from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.