MILLINOCKET, Maine (NEWS CENTER) --- Town voters made their thoughts clear during Tuesday's school budget referendum --- rejecting the budget proposed by the Millinocket town council.
The town clerk says about 271 votes were in favor of passing the budget as amended by the council while 325 votes favored rejecting it. Two weeks ago the council recommended decreasing the school budget by about $300,000 from what the school board wanted. That came in response to a financial crisis Millinocket is facing.
Town officials say with an inadequate fund balance the town only has enough cash to sustain operations for a few weeks. With the budget being rejected, property taxes will now face a delay in being collected to help restore cash flow and that could make a town shutdown more likely in the coming weeks.
"We're holding back as much as we can in terms of payments out for services in," said town manager Peggy Daigle, "but yeah, there's a potential that we might have to shut down a few days a week and lay people off a few days a week...just to be able to afford to keep things going...but that's definitely the worse case scenario."
With the school budget facing rejection, it will now go back to the town's school board for revisions.