$29M SAD 61 budget heads to polls


NAPLES — Voters in the soon-to-be three-town SAD 61 School District will vote next week on a $29 million budget for the coming fiscal year, which is down nearly $1 million from the current budget.

Bridgton, Casco and Naples residents head to the polls Tuesday, May 22, for the district’s budget validation referendum, where they will decide whether to give final approval to the budget.

District Finance Coordinator Sherrie Small said the initial vote on the budget held at the May 8 SAD 61 budget meeting passed with roughly 50 voters in attendance.

The town of Sebago will no longer vote to validate the budget, having decided last November to withdraw from the district and form its own school administrative unit based around Sebago Elementary School.

The proposed SAD 61 spending package of just over $29 million represents a 3.2 percent decrease from the current year’s budget of slightly more than $30 million, according to a budget overview from the district.

Under the proposal, Bridgton tax payers would be responsible for almost $9.3 million – or about 32 percent of the school budget – which is a decrease of almost $417,000 from the current year. Naples would pick up more than $7.5 million – nearly 26 percent of the budget – for an increase of about $69,000. Casco taxpayers’ share would be nearly $6.4 million – nearly 22 percent of the overall budget – which is a decrease of more than $256,000.

The SAD 61 budget overview says that funding for Sebago Elementary School was more than $1 million dollars in the current budget, which the district will no longer have to support moving forward.

The district also expects an increase in state subsidy of approximately $2.5 million, despite a projected $450,000 decrease stemming from Sebago’s withdrawal. The district is also reducing or leaving several staff positions unfilled.

Under the withdrawal agreement reached by Sebago and SAD 61, most Sebago students will be tuitioned to SAD 61 after elementary school for middle and high school during the next 10 years.

Matt Junker can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 123 or mjunker@keepmecurrent.com. Follow him on Twitter: @MattJunker.

Lake Region High School.