TRENTON — Voters at the annual Town Meeting next Tuesday, May 21, will be asked to approve a 2019-20 budget of just under $5.06 million that includes $3.97 million for education.
That figure covers the cost of operating Trenton Elementary School, paying tuition for Trenton students to attend Mount Desert Island or Ellsworth High School and supporting the school district’s administrative and shared services.
The question of spending an additional $50,000 to continue Trenton Elementary’s pre-kindergarten program for a second year will be voted on separately from the rest of the education budget.
That budget is $442,418 more than was budgeted for the current year, which is due largely to a shortfall in carryover funds from previous years and an increase in required spending for special education.
The municipal budget, that is, everything except education, is just over $1.03 million. About one-third of that amount, $338,370, is for “general government” and will be paid for entirely from excise taxes.
Other items in the municipal budget include $260,000 for solid waste disposal, $71,800 for fire protection and $62,500 for snow removal.
The education budget that the Trenton School Committee initially adopted in March would have raised property taxes by 15.13 percent or $147.70 per $100,000 of valuation. Subsequently, school officials were notified that Trenton Elementary would receive $116,932 from a Maine Department of Educational “hardship” fund. And the School Committee voted at its April 9 meeting to borrow $75,000 from the school district’s special education reserve fund.
As a result, the revised education budget calls for a tax increase of 8.63 percent, or $84.28 per $100,000 of property valuation.
The annual open floor Town Meeting will be held Tuesday, May 21, at 6 p.m. at Trenton Elementary School.
The day before, Monday, May 20, the polls will be open from 3-7 p.m. at the Trenton town office for the election of one member of the Board of Selectmen and two members of the School Committee.
Rachel Nobel, currently a member of the Board of Appeals, is the only candidate for the one seat on the Board of Selectmen that is up for election.
Darcy Throckmorton is the sole candidate on the ballot for the School Committee.