CAMDEN — The Camden-Rockport (Camden and Rockport K-8) School Board and the Five Town CSD (Camden Hills Regional High School) School Board are holding public information meetings tonight, March 26, on their respective proposed 2018-2019 budgets. The meetings are held to provide time for the public to ask questions about expenditures and cuts as the annual budget process continues through to June Town Meeting, when voters consider the spending packages at the polls.
Both meetings will be held in the lecture hall at Camden Hills Regional High School, on Route 90 in Rockport. SAD 28 will present its $15.7 million budget to taxpayers from 6 to 7 p.m. The CSD budget presentation will follow from 7 to 8 p.m. in the same location.
The two public school budgets represent approximately 65 percent of the annual tax burden on local property owners, the exact amount depending on in which town one resides.
SAD 28’s enrollment is 741 students. The enrollment at Camden Hills Regional High School is 718, and includes students from Appleton, Camden, Hope, Lincolnville and Rockport.
SAD 28 budget
On March 21, the SAD 28 School Board considered its proposed budget at a regularly scheduled board meeting held in the Washington Street Meeting Room, at the Camden Town Office. The board will formally vote on the proposed budget on April 11.
The $15.7 million budget represents an 18.20 percent increase over the current budget, a jump attributed to the need for Camden and Rockport to make their first payment on a middle school construction bond. When revenues are figured into the budget calculations, the increased tax effect on the taxpayer will be 17.94 percent.
Camden property owners can anticipate to pay $81 per $100,000 of assessment to fund SAD 28. For example, a home assessed by the town at $309,000, the median home price in Camden, can expect to pay $252 this coming 2018-2019 fiscal year to fund SAD 28’s budget.
Rockport property owners can expect to pay $122.68 per $100,000 of assessment; therefore, with the median single family home in Rockport currently priced at $279,000, taxpayers owning that home will pay $342 this coming year to fund SAD 28.
The largest chunk of the increase rests on the debt associated with the new middle school, a project approved by voters in June 2017. That’s when the majority of voters in Camden and Rockport agreed to borrow $25.2 million to build the new school. This coming budget year, which runs from July 1, 2018 to June 30, 2019, taxpayers will make their first payment on that money they borrowed.
The bond payment included in the 2018-2019 budget is $2.1 million. The interest rate is 3.5 percent, spread out over 20 years. Additionally, taxpayers continue to pay off older debt associated with the Camden-Rockport Elementary School addition, which totals approximately $1.2 million for the 2018-2019 budget.
Total SAD 28 debt that taxpayers currently shoulder in the 2018-2019 budget is $3.3 million, up $2 million from last year.
At the March 21 board meeting, Superintendent Maria Libby said the district’s goal was to be as frugal as possible while maintaining quality instruction.
Excluding debt service, the budget has increased $329,425 from the current 2017-2018 budget.
Libby noted increases other than debt service to be relegated to health insurance costs, special education, legal fees and architectural fees for MET.
Health insurance costs are expected to rise from $1.7 million to $1.8 million, and 3.64 percent increase. SAD 28 provides health care insurance to approximately 125 staff members.
Due to a private placement of a student, special education is due to rise by $56,000.
The Superintendent’s Office administrative expenses are anticipated to increase from $447,388 to $516,842, for printing, legal fees and costs associated with streaming and archiving school board meetings.
SAD 28 also hopes to lease two new busses, increasing to the transportation line from $709,912 to $744,148.
The associated MET costs include $40,000 for architects and $15,000 for additional legal fees for the board, from $30,000 to $45,000.
And, the Camden Rockport Elementary School needs roof repair, driving the K-4 operations and maintenance line from $685,612 to $715,157.
Cost reductions are recording in the Horizons/ gifted and talented program, down $18,395 from $86,593 to $68,198.
Other cost reductions include:
Summer School, down $1,750
Maintenance of the existing middle school complex, down $92,240 from $1.7 million to $967,979. This reflects a reduction of the capital reserve funding by $125,000.
The SAD 28 budget schedule follows:
March 26: 6-7 p.m., Public Input meeting, CHRHS Lecture Hall
March 29: Additional Finance Committee Meeting if needed
April 11: 6 p.m. Finance Committee, 7 p.m. Board Meeting to approve budget
April 2: Info. due to Central Office for Annual Report
April 11: 6:30 p.m. Board Meeting to sign Warrants
April 13: Deliver Warrants to Camden, Rockport
April 13: E-mail warrant articles for ballots to Camden, Rockport
May 22: SAD 28 Budget Meeting at the Camden Hills Regional High School Strom Auditorum, 6-7 p.m.
June 12-13: Annual Town Meeting elections: Clerks deliver completed Election Returns to School District Committee
June ?: Board meets to compute and adopt Declaration of Election Results
Five Town CSD (Camden Hills Regional High School)
The proposed budget to run the high school in 2018-2019 is $12.6 million, approximately $92,219 less than the current 2018-2019 budget, representing a .73 percent decrease. Given, however, the decrease in state subsidy of $310,627, the taxpayer will shoulder an overall increase of $170,958, or 1.66 percent increase from the current budget of $12.7 million.
Increases to the Camden Hills Regional High School budget include $10,000 increase to cover ice hockey and athletic stipends, wage increases and contracted services, and $50,000 for art room, and senior lounge.
The debt service for the CSD of approximately $1.8 million for 2018-2019 includes payments on the high school and the new Midcoast School of Technology building in Rockland. The payments are:
$800,031 for MCST, and $995,662 for payments on the Camden Hills Regional High School, built in 1999.
And while the CSD towns will contribute money toward to the MCST construction project, the bill for vocational education, which is approximately $1 million this current year, is reduced to $62,000 this coming year. That’s because the State of Maine, through a new funding formula, is assuming vocational school costs, as opposed to the local taxpayer.
What follows are the increases and decreases on each town’s tax load specific to the CSD budget for 2018-2019.
The CSD budget schedule is:
March 26, 7-8 p.m. Public Input Meeting, CHRHS Lecture Hall
March 28, Additional Finance Committee Meeting if needed
April 4, 6 p.m. Finance Committee, 7:00 Board Meeting to approve budget
April 2, Info. due to Central Office for Annual Report
April 4, 7 p.m., Board Meeting to sign Warrant
April 6, Deliver Warrants to Five Towns
April 6, E-mail warrant article for ballots to Camden, Rockport, Lincolnville, & Hope, order Appleton ballots
May 22, Five Town Budget Meeting – CHRHS Strom Auditorium (7PM)
June 12, Election
June 13, Clerks deliver completed Election Returns to School District Committee
June ??? Board meets to compute and adopt Declaration of Election Results
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