January 18, 2022

SAD 48 voters back $12.8 million budget

NEWPORT — A $12.8 million budget passed by a 2-to-1 margin in SAD 48 during Tuesday’s budget referendum, but individual town tallies were not as clearly divided.

Voters also approved a clarification on an earlier vote supporting new middle schools for the district.

A vote of 490-129 allowed the district to locate the new middle school for the Penobscot County towns in the district on the east side of the Williams Road in Newport rather than on the west side, as incorrectly printed on a earlier ballot.

The final vote tallies on the 2000-01 school budget referendum, which included six items, reflected the results of changes in the local assessments for each town.

In Corinna, where the budget increased the least, voters approved the budget by 3-to-1.

In St. Albans, where the budget assessment increased 7.4 percent, voters narrowly approved the budget, often by a difference of less than 10 votes on the individual items. On a budget question asking for additional local funding beyond the funding matched by state funds, St. Albans defeated the question by two votes.

Newport voters reflected the overall budget approval with a 2-to-1 approval rate.

“It’s about what I expected,” Superintendent William Braun said. “The valuation changes affected everyone dramatically. We had to cut the heck out of the budget to get it down to where it is.”

The district budget increased 5.1 percent despite an increase in state funding. Because of increases in salaries, insurances and needed buses, budget committee members were forced to cut several accounts from the standard allocations of previous years to keep the increase at a minimum.

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