Voters set to decide on proposed $28 million RSU 71 budget

Mon, 07/06/2020 - 4:00pm

BELFAST — Regional School Unit 71 has held its virtual public hearing for the 2020-2021 school budget and is now prepared to pose the 15 articles and six referendum questions to voters during the July 14 elections. 

RSU 71 includes the communities of Belfast, Belmont, Morrill, Searsmont and Swanville. 

Below is a general overview of the proposed RSU 71 budget. View the attached documents to view a detailed version of the proposed budget and the school budget public hearing guide. 

Question One: School Budget 

The school budget submitted in this question totals $28,268,293.67 with locally raised funds in the amount of $10,092,756.66 to be assessed in shares to member municipalities in accordance with the district’s cost sharing formula and state law. 

The locally raised amount exceeds the maximum state and local spending target by $4,038,169.59. 

The school board recommends a YES vote. 

Cost Center Amount Appropriated
Regular Instruction (Article 1) $9,160,906.25
Special Education (Article 2) $6,000,389.00
Career and Technical Education (Article 3) $11,234.00
Other Instruction (Article 4) $645,424.00
Student and Staff Support (Article 5) $2,781,779.00
System Administration (Article 6) $717,693.00
School Administration (Article 7) $1,672,029.00
Transportation and Buses (Article 8) $1,927,908.00
Facilities Maintenance (Article 9) $3,520,477.00
Debt Service and Other Commitments (Article 10) $1,830,454.42
All Other Expenditures (Article 11) $0.00
TOTAL $28,268,293.67

 

Article 12: 

Total Appropriated, by municipality
Belfast: $11,071,149.49
Belmont: $1,969,176.79
Morrill: $1,879,668.75
Searsmont: $2,444,563.91
Swanville: $2,526,115.68
Total Appropriated: $19,890,674.62

Total Raised, and RSU assessments, by municipality
Belfast: $6,647,477
Belmont: $563,465.66
Morrill: $551,877.34
Searsmont: $1,346,837
Swanville: $983,099.66
Total Raised: $10,092,756.66

Article 13: The School Board recommends the district raise and appropriate $1,377,853.46 for the annual payments on debt service previously approved by voters for non-state-funded school construction projects or non-state-funded portions of school construction projects in addition to the funds appropriated as the local share of the district’s contribution to the total cost of funding public education. 

Article 14: The School Board recommends the district raise and appropriate $4,038,169.59 in additional local funds, which exceeds the State’s Essential Programs and Services allocation model by $4,038,169.59 as required to fund the budget recommended by the School Board. 

Article 15: The School Board recommends the district authorize the School Board to expend $28,268,293.67 for July 1 through June 30 for funding public education, non-state-funded school construction projects, additional local funds for school purposes, unexpended balances, tuition receipts, state subsidy and other receipts for the support of schools. 

Question Two: School Nutrition Program

Shall the district be authorized to appropriate up to $98,825.73 from available fund balances to transfer to the school nutrition program, with authorization to expend any additional, incidental, or miscellaneous receipts in the interest and for the well-being of the school nutrition program? 

The school board recommends a YES vote. Approval by voters will not increase local assessments. 

Question Three: Adult Education Program

Shall the district be authorized to appropriate $371,242 for adult education and raise $259,932 as the local share, with authorization to expend any additional, incidental, or miscellaneous receipts in the interest and for the well-being of the adult education program? 

The school board recommends a YES vote. Approval by voters will increase local assessments as follows: Belfast $171,191.22; Belmont $14,504.20; Morrill $14,218.28; Searsmont $34,674.93; Swanville $25,343.37. 

Question Four: CTE Region Budget

Shall the Region 7 Waldo County Technical Center operating budget as approved by the cooperative board for July 1 through June 30 be approved in the amount of $1,993,674.85? 

The school board recommends a YES vote. Approval by voters will not increase local assessments. 

Question Five: CTE Region Adult Education Budget

Shall the Region 7 Waldo County Technical Center approve a budget for adult education in the amount of $48,064 for July 1 through June 30 with authorization to expend any additional, incidental, or miscellaneous receipts in the interest and for the well-being of the adult education program? 

The school board recommends a YES vote. Approval by voters will not increase local assessments. 

Question Six: Capital Improvement Fund

Shall the district school board be authorized to: 

i. expend up to $500,000 from the existing Capital Reserve Fund for the purpose of repairing and upgrading pool control units, operation panels and related computers 

ii. and in the event the Governor orders a curtailment of state subsidy pursuant to Title 5, Section 1668 of the Maine Revised Statues, transfer up to $750,000 from the existing Capital Reserve Fund to the undesignated fund account to help offset the curtailment? 

The school board recommends a YES vote. Approval by voters will not increase local assessments.