Budget for Dixfield-based school district approved

Regional School Unit 56 Director Carl Lueders of Canton casts his vote Tuesday at the district budget meeting at Dirigo High School in Dixfield. Thirty-five residents from Canton, Carthage, Dixfield and Peru approved a $12.97 million spending plan for 2021-22. Marianne Hutchinson/Rumford Falls TImes

DIXFIELD — Thirty-five voters unanimously approved Regional School Unit 56’s annual budget Tuesday evening at Dirigo High School.

There was no discussion from residents of Canton, Carthage, Dixfield and Peru on the 21 warrant articles read by moderator Dave Duguay of Byron.

The $12.97 million budget for 2021-22 is the same amount as last year, Superintendent Pam Doyen told voters.

“The school board directed us to come in at a 0% budget to budget increase,” she said. Given that though, there were increases in some areas the district has no control over, she said.

“For example, salaries are estimated at about a $155,000 increase,” she said. “That is because we have negotiated contracts with all of our groups so I always like to present what their negotiated increases are.”

Nonpayroll increases include debt for Dirigo Elementary School in Peru, which is $21,630 more for 2021-22, auditing, is up $3,600, and building insurance, which is up $3,680. There is also $102,000 more for the Special Education program’s out-of-district placement for some students.

On the revenue side, general purpose aide from the government increased about $160,000.

There was no increase in health insurance premiums, Doyen said.

Voters approved transferring $200,000 from fund balances to the capital reserve account and spending up to $430,000 for improvements to the Dirigo High School gym floor and school roof. They also approved transferring up to $200,000 from fund balances to establish a technology reserve fund to purchase and maintain technology equipment and related accessories.

A budget validation vote will be held at polling stations in each town June 8 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Voting in Canton, Carthage and Peru will be at the respective Town Offices; in Dixfield, at the American Legion Hall.

Thirty-five residents from Canton, Carthage, Dixfield and Peru vote Tuesday evening on one of the Regional School Unit 56 budget articles at Dirigo High School in Dixfield. The $12.97 million spending plan was approved unanimously. Marianne Hutchinson/Rumford Falls Times

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