High school budget rises 5.2 percent



BAR HARBOR — A $10.2 million budget for Mount Desert Island High School next year is being proposed by Principal Matt Haney.

The school board was expected to approve the budget at its meeting Monday night, but because of the winter storm, that meeting has been rescheduled for Feb. 22.

Residents of the four MDI towns will get to vote on the budget at the school’s annual budget meeting April 6.

The proposed budget for 2016-2017 is $502,441 higher than the current year’s budget, an increase of just under 5.2 percent. The additional cost to taxpayers in the four MDI towns will be $195,310, a 2.5 percent increase.

Tuition payments will cover a larger portion of the budget increase because of an increase in the amount of tuition the state allows schools to charge.

Of the 526 students expected to attend MDI High next year, it is anticipated that 125 will be from non-district towns such as Trenton, Lamoine, Hancock and the outer islands. Those towns pay tuition for their residents to attend MDI High School. Next year’s tuition payments are expected to total just under $1.4 million.

About 60 percent of the total budget – $6.2 million – is for salaries and benefits.

More than one-third of the overall budget increase for next year – $200,000 – will go into a reserve account that, according to Haney, is used when the school has “a need for a significant out-of-district placement” for a student with special needs.

The budget also includes $95,000 for the purchase of a school bus and a van.

The high school will spend less money next year in a couple of areas. It expects to save about $40,000 on heating oil. This year, the price is $2.65 a gallon. The price that winning bidder Acadia Fuel will charge all MDI-area schools next year will be 98 cents.

The total debt service payment will be $424,975, a reduction of 14.8 percent.

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