Madawaska voters, for a third time, rejected a proposed 2016-17 school department budget at a validation referendum vote, Tuesday, Oct. 18.
MADAWASKA, Maine — Voters, for a third time, rejected a proposed 2016-17 school department budget at a validation referendum vote, Tuesday, Oct. 18.
With 486 voters casting ballots against the $6,163,049 budget and 358 in favor, the budget failed and school superintendent Gisele Dionne and school committee members will need to go back to work and come up with another budget.
Voters in Madawaska, which uses a two-step school budget approval process, had given a green light to this latest school budget at a special town meeting Sept. 27. At that meeting, which traditionally draws considerably smaller voter numbers, 38 people voted in favor of the new budget, with only seven against.
This latest budget proposal was an increase of $154,617 from last year. The town’s budget committee also recommended it.
In June, voters at the validation referendum stage turned down an initial $6.4 million budget, with 517 opposed and 353 in favor. In August, they also rejected a revised $6.3 million budget at the validation stage, 425 against and only 197 in favor.
Dionne said at a recent school committee meeting that any further budget reductions would impact curriculum and extracurricular programs, such as athletics.