Lincoln County News | Newcastle, ME
Tuesday, May 31, 2016 Serving Maine and Lincoln County for over a century. Volume 141 Issue 21

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4/3/2014 6:00:00 PM
GSB Draft Budget Restores Positions
By J.W. Oliver

The draft 2014-2015 budget for Great Salt Bay Community School would restore some positions cut in the previous budget cycle.

The return of those positions and programs, along with growing costs and new expenses, contribute to a significant hike in the budget. The draft budget of $5,570,030 would be an increase of $308,797 or 5.87 percent over the 2013-2014 budget.

Central Lincoln County School System Superintendent Steve Bailey anticipates the Great Salt Bay School Committee will make cuts in the draft budget before it goes to voters in May.

The towns of the Great Salt Bay Consolidated School District share the costs of the school budget. A formula based on student enrollment determines each town's share.

The towns would all absorb significant increases in the draft budget.

Bremen would pay $680,763, an increase of $78,144 or 12.97 percent.

Damariscotta would pay $2.3 million, an increase of $104,011 or 4.74 percent.

Newcastle would pay $1.92 million, an increase of $198,895 or 11.56 percent.

The budget proposal would restore a gifted-and-talented teacher to full time. The position was cut to half time in the 2013-2014 budget.

The budget would also restore a math educational technician II position and two ed tech I positions for lunch and recess monitors.

The budget would partially restore cuts to popular "experiential learning" programs in collaboration with the Chewonki Foundation and Kieve-Wavus Education.

The budget adds three new ed tech II positions in the special education department.

The proposal includes some other significant changes.

The school made the final payment on a five-year, $305,000 loan to replace the school roof in August 2013. The absence of the debt service for the project will save the school $73,161.

The budget for tuition for special-education students who attend school outside of the district is $91,885, an increase of $51,000 or 124.74 percent.

The transportation budget includes a new expense of $50,000 to go toward the purchase of a new school bus. The school plans to enter into a two-year lease-purchase for two new buses this year.

The $50,000 and the balance of a bus reserve account will cover the first year of payments. The school will have to budget about $85,000 next year to cover the second year of payments.

The state will reimburse the school for 95 percent of the costs to purchase the buses, but the school will not start to receive this revenue until the 2015-2016 fiscal year.

The school system expects an increase in employee health insurance premiums. A final figure should be available this month.

The Great Salt Bay School Committee will continue to review the budget during its next regular meeting at 6 p.m., Wednesday, April 9 in the Great Salt Bay Community School library.

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