News Feature

Originally published in The Weekly Packet, February 21, 2019
Sedgwick voters to consider 86 articles, $3.5 million in spending
Surplus, revenues help offset increases

by Anne Berleant

With a 2019-20 proposed municipal budget of $927,671, up 5 percent or $44,213, and a $2,591,730 school budget, up 4 percent or $101,539, voters will decide 86 articles totaling $3.52 million at town meeting, March 2. Warrant articles, if approved, ensure that roads are tarred, salted and plowed; town employees are paid; the fire department is funded; students are educated, and Sedgwick pays its share of running the Blue Hill-Surry Transfer Station and its county taxes, among other perhaps mundane but necessary tasks of operating a town.

Revenues up in school budget

Half of the $101,539 school budget increase, as proposed, would come from taxation, with the remainder from revenue and carryover.

Sedgwick is slated to receive $97,692 more in state subsidy than in 2018-19, for a total of $239,600, with a possible $23,000 more.

“Our projected revenues are up $72,000,” Superintendent Christian Elkington said after the school board approved the 2019-20 budget.

Included is using $35,000 from surplus, or balance forward, and $15,000 from the pre-school reserve fund to help offset the taxpayer burden, according to figures provided by Elkington.

Projected increases in transportation ($23,000), special education ($56,000), school administration ($15,000) and student and staff support ($17,000) are behind the overall budget increase, with other major cost centers seeing little change.

Also proposed is $6,626 to fund an adult education program at Brooklin School, under the direction of the Deer Isle-Stonington Adult Education program.

Municipal budget

A shade under $18,000 of the $44,213 municipal budget’s increase will be raised through taxation, with the remainder taken from surplus, including $25,000 for payment of a firetruck loan. Voters approved using $103,000 from a reserve account towards purchasing the firetruck in 2018.

Requests to fund town departments are fairly flat from last year, while third-party requests from nonprofits are slightly up. The budget committee recommends approving requests from most of the organizations voters supported last year although not the full amounts in some cases. In all, 21 organizations have requested $54,305, with the budget committee recommending raising a total $42,218, and not funding new requests from Maine Coast Memorial Hospital’s prescription program ($1,100), Families First ($1,000), Yesterday’s Children ($300) and Emmaus ($1,000).

Sedgwick 2019-20 Town Meeting

Voting: Fri., Mar. 1, 1-6 p.m., Town House

Business meeting: Sat., Mar. 2, 9 a.m., Sedgwick Elementary School

Proposed municipal budget: $927,671

Increase: $44,213 or 5 percent; $18,000 from taxation

Proposed school budget: $2,591,730

Increase: $101,539 or 4 percent; about $49,000 from taxation