MIDCOAST — June 13 was voting day around the region, and local school budgets drew residents to the polls.

Regional School Unit 5: Freeport, Durham, Pownal

Regional School Unit 5’s budget passed 875 – 591. As in previous years, the approval was the result of Freeport, which voted in favor of the budget 620 to 233. Durham and Pownal both voted against it, 184 – 246 and 71 to 112, respectively.

The $32,207,685 budget represents a $1.2 million increase, nearly 4 percent, over last year. Most of that stems from a 3.2 percent increase in non-discretionary spending caused by contract obligations. The increase to taxpayers is about 5.25 percent, but varies depending on the town. Pownal sees the largest increase to taxes, at 5.8 percent. Freeport’s is a roughly 3.5 percent increase, and Durham is just over 3 percent.


Brunswick School Department

Brunswick voters approved two separate school spending items.

The budget itself passed 2,183 to 1,604. At $37.4 million, it was a reduction of an initially proposed $38 million. Town Council requested reductions to keep the tax increase under 3 percent.
The second budgetary item was a $28 million bond for the construction of a new elementary school, which passed 2,040 to 1,779. The school will be constructed on the site of the former Jordan Acres School, and is funded entirely by the bond.

Current projections put the increase to property taxes caused by the bond at 4.38 percent in 2020, lasting for the next 15 years and beginning to decrease in 2037.

School Administrative District 75: Bowdoin, Bowdoinham, Harpswell, Topsham

Residents approved the $38 million SAD 75 budget by a wide margin, voting 1,129 to 314, or nearly 80 percent of voters approving. The budget represents a 1.62 percent, or $605,376, increase over last year.

Based on the local share, Topsham would pay $9.8 million ( up 6.4 percent); Harpswell $7.8 million (up 1.5 percent); Bowdoin $2.9 million (up 4.9 percent) and Bowdoinham $3 million (up 5.7 percent). Overall, the local share will increase by 4.42 percent.

Based on local valuations, in Bowdoin, that will mean a $105 annual tax increase for the median home value of $178,000. In Bowdoinham, it means a $120 tax increase for a median home value of $178,000. In Harpswell, $27 for a median home value of $425,000, and in Topsham, $114 for a median home value of $182,000.

Regional School Unit 1: Arrowsic, Bath, Phippsburg, Woolwich

Regional School Unit 1 also passed its budget by a wide margin. Residents voted 560 to 130 to pass the budget, meaning over 80 percent of those who voted approved.
The budget, which is just shy of $29 million, represents a 2.5 percent increase over last year. Depending on what the state decides to grant towns in the way of subsidies, the local contribution is estimated to increase by just under 4 percent.

Arrowsic’s contribution went up $36,386, representing a 7.1 percent increase. Bath’s increase is $361,349, or 3.7 percent. Phippsburg went up to $101,827, or 3.4 percent. And Woolwich is $164,718, or 4.2 percent.

Regional School Unit 40: Friendship, Union, Waldoboro, Warren, Washington

Residents approved the $26,299,247 school budget by a vote of 785 – 434. The roughly $1 million uptick increases the local share in Waldoboro by $213,882, or 4.2 percent.