Gloria Delsandro, principal of Mount Desert Elementary School. Delsandro's budget for the next school year includes much-needed, but not absolutely essential items, like a special ed tech, a new tractor and a new oven for the kitchen. ISLANDER FILE PHOTO

School tab goes up 3.3 percent

MOUNT DESERT — Taxpayers here shouldn’t be alarmed by the 7.4 increase in the Mount Desert Elementary School budget for next year that the School Committee approved last week, officials say.

Three of the one-time, big ticket items in the budget are to be paid for with funds from the school’s maintenance reserve account. So, the town’s appropriation for the school would go up only 3.32 percent. Property taxes would increase by $3.28 per $100,000 of valuation.

The school budget for next year is just over $4.25 million, an increase of $293,000 over the current year’s budget.

The base budget request that Principal Gloria Delsandro prepared calls for an increase in spending of 3.87 percent. Most of that increase is for salaries and benefits, which account for about 70 percent of the budget.

Delsandro also presented a list of eight items with a total cost of $140,045 that she said were very much needed but not absolutely essential. The school committee voted to include all eight items, including a special ed tech position at a salary-and-benefits cost of $45,900.

Three other items on the add-on list will be paid for from the maintenance reserve. Those items are the purchase and installation of an HVAC monitoring system for $36,295, a new tractor for $28,000 and a new kitchen oven and redesign of the cooking line for $21,700.

After the Board of Selectmen and Warrant Committee weigh in with their recommendations, voters at town meeting May 2 will have the final say on next year’s school budget.

Dick Broom

Dick Broom

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Dick Broom covers the towns of Mount Desert and Southwest Harbor, Mount Desert Island High School and the school system board and superintendent's office. He enjoys hiking with his golden retriever and finding new places for her to swim. [email protected]

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