Voters approved Regional School Unit 71's budget referendum Tuesday, Aug. 18, with over 1,968 votes cast for the six questions, according to Superintendent Mary Alice McLean.

The referendum vote was planned for the July 14 primary election, but a mistake on the ballot prepared by Drummond Woodsum delayed the vote.

The law firm made a $5,416,023.05 mistake in developing the referendum questions to be voted on. The figure was originally written as $10,092,756.66, but should have been $15,508,779.71. Had it not been caught, it would have created a large funding gap in this year’s school budget. Other questions based on the figure had to be reworked.

"We are very grateful for the RSU # 71 community's continuing and strong support of public education for its children. We will continue to be careful stewards of the community's resources and trust," McLean said in an email.

Ballot questions included the overall budget for district programs, school nutrition program and capital fund projects.

The budget developed earlier this year contained a 9.5% increase from last year's budget, but as the coronavirus took hold in the community, it became apparent that the district had to cut the budget to provide some relief for local taxpayers, according to McLean. The district was able to whittle the budget down to about a 0.1% increase.