Fifty-three residents of Bremen, Damariscotta, and Newcastle approved a 4.69 percent increase in the Great Salt Bay Consolidated School District budget at the annual meeting May 29.
The first 15 of the 16 budget articles passed unanimously with only one question from the floor. The article to exceed the state’s Essential Programs and Services allocation model by $843,487 was approved 49-4.
The 2014-2015 budget of $5,508,053 is up $246,820. Individual town allocations vary, with increases in each town.
The Bremen share is $662,394, an increase of $59,775 or 9.92 percent. The Damariscotta share is $2,238,028, an increase of $42,155 or 1.92 percent. The Newcastle share is $1,868,441, an increase of $147,254 or 8.56 percent.
The local share each town pays is based on the number of students attending the school from each town.
For 2014-2015, Bremen will pay 13.89 percent of the local share. Damariscotta will pay 46.93 percent and Newcastle will pay 39.18 percent.
The budget restores one gifted-and-talented teaching position from half-time to four-fifths time. The regular instruction category increased $153,184 due in part to this restoration, plus increases in health insurance and retirement contributions.
Special education increased $53,388 due to shifting a social worker position from regular education to special education, where services are being received.
Transportation increased $59,714, which includes $50,000 in funds for a potential lease-purchase of two buses spread over two years.
Facilities maintenance and improvement projects funded by the 2014-2015 budget include masonry and curbing repairs, replacement of flooring, and the sanding and refinishing of the gym floor.
Newcastle and Damariscotta will go to the polls Tuesday, June 10 for a budget validation referendum vote to confirm the annual meeting vote. Bremen voted last year to discontinue the referendum process.
Newcastle residents will vote at the Newcastle fire station from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Damariscotta residents will vote at the Damariscotta town office from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.