Region 4 School Budget Passes Easily

Chester: 73 Yes, 45 No = 118 votes cast

Deep River: 76 Yes, 65 No = 141 votes cast

Essex: 263 Yes, 97 No = 360 votes cast

Total: 412 Yes, 207 No = 619 votes cast.

The Region 4 Board of Education's proposed 2012-2013 fiscal year budget that represents a total of $17.3 million in net billings to the district's three towns passed easily at the May 8 referendum, winning approval by more than a two-to-one margin.

The budget proposal won approval in each of the district's three towns. The votes are:

The total expenditures are $17.5 million, an increase of 1.05 percent or $181,280 when compared with the present budget. The district receives some revenue, calculated at $241,279, for the next fiscal year and so the net budget costs to the towns will be $17,264,934.

The Region 4 Board of Education is responsible for the operations of the district's two regional schools, the John Winthrop Middle School and Valley Regional High School. The costs associated with the Region 4 budget are divided among the three towns-Chester, Deep River, and Essex-based on the number of students each town sends to the district schools.

For the 2012-2013 fiscal year, both Chester and Deep River will see slight decreases in the percentage of the total budget each must finance. Essex, with a larger student population in the regional schools, will see an increase.

The major increases in the budget came in the areas of contractual salaries, retirement fund contributions, fuel oil and the regional board's share of the Supervision District budget. Reductions were found in the cost of health benefits, hours for two part-time positions, and most noticeably, debt service.

With the approval of the budget, each town will be responsible for the following appropriation:

Three-way Allocation of Region 4 Budget

Chester Deep River Essex

Fiscal year

2012-2013 27.13 % 28.26% 44.61%

Fiscal year

2011-2012 27.60% 29.12% 43.28%

Change -0.47% -0.86% 1.33%

Chester: $4,683,977

Deep River: $4,879,070

Essex: $7,701,887.

The light voter turnout repeats light turnouts in the previous two years.

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