Little more than 200 of Harpswell’s 4,600-plus voters turned out on Tuesday, June 13, but 85.2% of them supported the school district’s $52.8 million budget.
Harpswell’s tally in the Maine School Administrative District 75 budget validation referendum was 184 to 32 in favor. The single question asked if voters would grant final approval for the budget adopted in a town meeting-style vote on May 18.
The budget for the 2023-24 school year amounts to an increase of about $3.2 million or 6.5% in comparison to 2022-23. Harpswell’s share comes to $10,027,134, an increase of $790,342 or 8.6%.
For the budget to pass, it must gain support from a majority of voters in the district’s four towns — Bowdoin, Bowdoinham, Harpswell and Topsham.
On a separate ballot, an even wider margin of Harpswell voters approved a referendum question allowing the town to transfer $50,000 from surplus to improve its emergency communications system. The count was 199 to 19.
The town plans to spend $104,671 to install equipment on the tower at George J. Mitchell Field as part of a townwide upgrade of emergency communications infrastructure. The balance will come from an equipment reserve.