TEMPLETON -- For the fourth time, voters will vote on the Narragansett Regional School District fiscal year 2014 town assessment of $5.2 million at a special town meeting at the middle school on Friday, July 26, at 7 p.m.
Town officials are concerned acceptance of a $691,086 override as a part of the assessment (and which would be added to the $4.6 million previously approved) would cause drastic cuts to the town services. Rejecting the override they say would allow work to continue an override compromise, and allow for overall budget adjustments to be discussed at a joint meeting with Phillipston.
The district submitted a $5.2 million assessment, with a $691,086 override being needed to fully fund the amount. Voters subsequently approved a reduced $4.6 million assessment at the annual town meeting, rejecting the override. It was also voted at the time to have the override request reconsidered at the polls, where it was again defeated.
Because the full assessment was never presented to town meeting voters, the town's vote was a rejection of the school budget by state law and the full assessment has to be voted on Friday, or the district will otherwise be entitled to the full assessment.
If the assessment is rejected, a joint meeting with Phillipston will have to be held, as required by the state's Department of Education.
Voters in Phillipston also rejected a portion of that town's assessment ($152,111) when voting at the polls. However, that amount was approved for appropriation from free cash at the annual town meeting.
Because both towns did not agree on the budget prior to July 1, the district is one of nine in the state to be placed on a one-twelfth budget by the DOE. If an agreement cannot be reached by Dec. 1, the towns could be mandated to fund the budget by the state's Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.