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Farmington residents to deliberate on new buses, buildings, breakfast and budgets Saturday

FARMINGTON – Residents will discuss whether to lease two buses, buy administrative offices, privatize food services and whether to raise the district's budget by 0.5 percent.


The school district's deliberative session is scheduled to begin Saturday at 9 a.m. in the gymnasium at Farmington High School. Residents will decide on matters when polls open March 12 from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. in Town Hall.


Article 3 would appropriate $16,960,170 for the district's operating budget, which is $84,687 – or 0.5 percent – larger than last year's budget of $16,875,483. If rejected, a default budget of $16,875,423 would be enacted and the district can hold a special meeting to discuss a revised budget.


Article 4 would appropriate $828,740 to pay for the district's share of the $963,780 budget of School Administrative Unit 61, which supervises Farmington and Middleton students. The remaining portion of the SAU budget would be paid by Middleton.


If a majority of voters in both Farmington and in Middleton fail to approve a budget, Farmington would pay $835,842 of the SAU's default budget of $972,039.


Article 5 asks residents to allow the district to enter a four-year $169,730 lease for two buses and to appropriate $42,433 for the first year?s payment.


If approved, Article 6 would purchase the SAU building at 60 Charles St. – Route 153 – for $180,000. The property includes the 4,600 square-foot building, 1.01 acres and half an acre of unimproved land.


Article 12 asks residents if they want to privatize the district's food service program. Currently, food service revenues are down – despite a recent increase in prices – while expenses are up.


Due to a change in state statute, Article 11 would allow the district to retain unassigned general funds at the end of the fiscal year, as long as the amount doesn't exceed 2.5 percent of the current fiscal year's net assessment.


Articles 8, 9 and 10 would each transfer up to $50,000 in surplus funds from the June 30 unassigned fund balance to three previously established accounts to offset costs from special education, high school repairs and technology.


Article 7 would appoint the school board as agents to expend from the Special Education Unanticipated Cost Trust Fund, which was established in 2002.


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