School costs up

TREMONT — Tremont Consolidated School officials have proposed a $2.35 million budget for the 2015-2016 school year.

As proposed, there is an increase of almost $109,000 from this year’s budget. The hike would add another $50 to the tax bills of the owners of a $250,000 property.

There most likely will be some changes in the proposed budget by the time it comes before voters at the annual town meeting in May, said Nancy Thurlow, business manager for the Mount Desert Island school system.

One unknown is the cost of employee health insurance.

“We won’t know more until the end of the month, and then it probably won’t be a firm figure,” Thurlow said.

Another likely change will be in the amount of state subsidy the school is to receive. It now looks like the subsidy will be $90,000, which is $20,000 more than in the draft budget, Thurlow said.

The line for heating oil costs also will change for the better, Thurlow said. The budget was prepared using a $3.75 per gallon figure when the school system actually locked in a price of $2.65 per gallon.

The proposed $1.14 million budget for regular instruction is up almost $21,000. The increase is mostly due to higher health insurance costs.

The special education budget reflects a 21 percent increase. The need for another ed tech and, again, health insurance costs are contributing to the $77,000 jump, Thurlow said.

Library costs are up $7,650. The school has no regular librarian and has contracted with the Bass Harbor Memorial Library for part-time library services in the amount of $5,500. An extra $3,000 has been budgeted for books.

In preparing the budget for the current year, school officials did away with some of the janitorial duties and instead hired an outside contractor.

Selectmen got a brief look at the school budget on Monday. The school committee meets next week.

Mark Good

Mark Good

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Mark Good

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