Originally published in Island Ad-Vantages, June 6, 2019
Voters approve CSD budget
Referendum vote June 11
by Tevlin Schuetz
“I see now we have run out of articles.”
So observed moderator Walter Kumiega, just 34 minutes after the 2019-20 CSD budget meeting began.
An assembly of 21 voters made quick work of school warrant articles during the June 3 meeting.
The budget totals $6,788,696, up 1.46 percent from this school year’s budget.
Article 15, allocating $2,053,832 of additional local funding to cover costs which exceed Maine’s Essential Programs and Services model (which requires the towns to cover $3,395,630, per the EPS formula as required by law), was passed unanimously by written ballot. If so approved by referendum vote, Deer Isle will shoulder 68.75 percent or $1,412,009, and Stonington taxpayers will pick up the remaining $641,823.
During a brief discussion of the food service program, Stonington resident Craig Hutchinson noted recent difficulties with families paying for their children’s school meals and asked if the budgeted amount of $77,026 was adequate. “Is this sufficient to get the district through?”
“Yes. We should be fine,” Union 76 Superintendent Chris Elkington responded, adding that the program and its revenues are growing.
New this year, Article 18 allocates $60,000 to a special education tuition reserve account, to pay for unexpected special education costs. The funds can only be expended by a vote of the school district at a regular or special district budget meeting.
Deer Isle Town Manager Jim Fisher noted a discrepancy in the amount listed for Article 7 ($340,205) in the budget insert in Island Ad-Vantages from the amount in the warrant articles ($370,833). The issue was resolved, and it turned out to be a mistake with what had been submitted to the paper. Elkington confirmed that $370,833 was the correct number.
The school budget is now up for validation through referendum vote, which takes place on June 11. Polls are open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at both town halls.