Edgecomb voters approved the town’s 2020-2021 education budget in a special referendum Thursday, Oct. 15, after rejecting the initial budget two months earlier.
The overall budget of $3,312,286 passed 68-31. An article regarding $775,114 in additional local funds beyond the amount set by the state’s Essential Programs and Services Act passed 68-30.
The transfer of $230,000 into a non-lapsing capital improvement reserve passed 68-38. The school committee will use the funds, originally budgeted for roof repairs, to pay for mold mitigation completed at Edgecomb Eddy School in August and early September.
Voters authorized the school committee to transfer more than 5% of the total appropriation for a cost center to another cost center, 73-34.
AOS 98 Superintendent Keith Laser has said it is important to lift the cap on such transfers because of situations like COVID-19, which left an unusually high amount in the transportation cost center last year after schools unexpectedly closed in March.
“I don’t think they’re going to do it unless they really need to, but there are things that come along in the course of a school year where money’s needed,” Laser said at a Sept. 9 selectmen’s meeting.
The school budget had been voted down at the town meeting by referendum Aug. 29, after the selectmen recommended that voters reject five articles relating to the budget. The school committee approved a new budget Sept. 8.
The new budget eliminated a proposal to transfer $50,000 into a non-lapsing emergency reserve fund and lowered the additional local funds request by $100,000.
Two other warrant articles on Thursday’s ballot asked voters to rescind August votes and approve different measures in their place.
One article asked to change the due date for taxes from Oct. 31 to Nov. 30, with 7% interest on late payments to begin accruing Dec. 1. The article passed 95-12.
The second article asked if voters would raise and appropriate $97,000 for repairs and paving on Mill Road. That article passed 88-20. The previous warrant incorrectly said Cross Point Road.