News Feature

Originally published in Castine Patriot, May 2, 2019
Castine municipal budget up about $100,000
School budget down 2.16%

by Monique Labbe

Castine voters will say “yea” or “nay” to 27 municipal warrant articles at the annual Town Meeting on May 11.

The municipal budget totals $2,260,121, an increase of $94,197 from the 2018 budget.

An article asking voters to approve $45,000 for updates to the town’s street lights, would replace the lights with new, more efficient LED lights. Other proposed capital projects include $6,800 for work at Back Shore Pond, $2,000 for Fort George, and $15,000 for a fire station feasibility study.

Article 28 asks for the town to raise and appropriate $458,640 for debt services. The town’s portion of that payment is $418,640, and Maine Maritime Academy’s contribution of $40,000.

Castine’s town meeting has been moved from its usual time of 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., with municipal articles to be taken up second in the town warrant.

School budget decreases

The 2019-20 budget is down 2.16 percent, coming in at $1,427,961. That number is down from the 2018-19 budget of $1,459,436.

Union 93 Superintendent Mark Hurvitt called the budget a “maintenance budget,” saying that a decrease in enrollment numbers at the school and caseload needs resulted in the need for one less Ed Tech position.

The elimination of that position results in a $16,000 decrease in the Special Education budget line.

Next year’s enrollment numbers are projected at about 50, in grades pre-K through eighth.