NEWPORT, Maine (NEWS CENTER) --- Officials in Newport, Etna and several other towns in central Maine are now facing some major budget challenges going into this school year.
RSU 19 is facing a budget shortfall of more than $1 million dollars. Incoming superintendent Greg Potter says it is due to budgetary projections that were too optimistic.
Last fiscal year the RSU approved a budget of $22 million dollars. The budget projected a surplus of $830,000 which did not materialize. RSU 19 has now frozen spending and is looking for ways to cover the shortfall.
"Ya know fuel oil bid came in pretty reasonably...we had some buses that planned to be purchased outright...we might do a lease purchase option there," remarked Potter, who replaced former superintendent William Braun a few months ago, "there are some things I think we can do...but it's not going to be nearly enough to make up the entirety of the problem that's been created here."
Potter says an audit is still ongoing to see exactly how much money needs to be made up. He added that there is a strong possibility the district may need to borrow money to make up for the shortfall. That course of action would need to be approved by district voters in a referendum.
Officials with RSU 19 will hold a budget committee meeting on Tuesday night August 14 at Nokomis Regional High School to discuss the problem.