The Wiscasset School Board on Monday night approved a proposed budget of $9.35 million to be offered to voters on May 16. The resulting budget is then put to a vote on June 14 at the polls.
Committee members signed the terms of reference during the meeting at the WMHS library and continued on Zoom. At press time, the selectors were due to sign the May 16 warrant on Tuesday evening, May 3.
Spending is expected to increase by $218,394, or 2.39%, from 2021-22, according to Monday’s draft. However, as with a previous draft, the one the committee adopted on Monday would mean a local cost of $5,910,708, the same as in 2021-22, acting chief financial officer Cathy Coffey said. To achieve this, $785,026 would be taken from the fund balance, she said.
So would $50,000 to be set aside for fuel and $422,379 to cover the remaining cost of a handicap lift at Wiscasset Elementary School, according to officials and the project.
These fund balance taps and other factors, including unfilled jobs and getting more state aid in 2021-22 than expected, put the projected fund balance for FY23 at a “very healthy” $1.1 million, Coffey said.
Superintendent of Schools Terry Wood told the committee she was very comfortable and confident with the proposed budget. She praised Coffey, new to the job last fall, for “picking things up and just taking it right away… We’re in a good space.”
“Thank you. I appreciate the support,” Coffey said.
On the May 16 term, Article 1 would elect a moderator. Sections 2 through 12 would approve committee expenditures by cost centers: regular instruction, $3,240,453.28 for salaries and benefits, school supplies, equipment, books, and repairs; special education, $2,242,019.56 in salaries and benefits, out-of-district placement(s), and professional services; vocational and technical training for WMHS students to attend the Bath Regional Vocational and Technical Center, $0, as funding comes from a grant the state provides directly to the center, officials said.
Other Education, $244,538.28 for learning such as co-curricular and extracurricular activities not included in other programs; student and staff support, $588,449.35 for “salaries and benefits for orientation, health, technology, and instructional improvement, library, and student assessment.” students”; system administration, $504,332 for salaries and benefits for the Office of the Superintendent, Central Services and the School Board, including insurance, advertising, dues and fees, legal fees and audit.
School administration, $565,017 for salaries and benefits and equipment, supplies, dues and fees and contracted services; transportation and buses, $525,430; facility maintenance, $1,361,831.03; debt service, $0; and transfer of food services, $70,000.
Sections 13 and 14 would allocate $9,354,570 to the budget, including local assessment of $5,910,708; Section 15 authorizes expenditures of $9,342,070, which excludes adult education, covered by a separate section, Coffey explained; Article 16, the $12,500 for adult education; Article 17, to add a capital reserve fund for “capital improvement projects, plant maintenance, facility upgrades and minor renovations, emergency repairs and equipment purchases. equipment, and to transfer up to $422,379.00 from (fund balance) to this reserve fund; » Item 18, to spend up to $868,750 on the WES elevator; Section 19, authorizing the committee to draw from the Special Education Reserve Fund, with a current balance of $75,000, for unforeseen expenses the next school year.
Section 20 would fund the proposed fuel reserve fund with the $50,000 fund balance; Article 21 authorizes the expenditure of grants and other income; Section 22 should state, “In addition to the amount in Section 15, will the voters authorize the (committee) to accept and expend all state, federal, and other grants and revenues” if these do not require to spend “local funds not previously appropriated.” And Section 23 would authorize the use of any additional state subsidies.