Kingfield board gets rundown on school spending

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KINGFIELD — Selectmen learned Monday more about Regional School Union 58’s unassigned and unexpended fund balances and plans for using that money.

Business Manager Luci Milewski and Superintendent Erica Brouillet reviewed the categories involved. For example, Brouillet said, the school board expected to spend $100,000 for health insurance for education technicians. Incomplete contract negotiations stalled that expenditure, as did the expected $80,000 in salary increases and raises for teachers and administrators.

The board also saved $20,000 by hiring one new Dean of Students rather than an assistant principal and an athletic director. Custodial substitutes have replaced full-time employees, and the district has saved on electricity and oil costs in all buildings.

“Several maintenance projects came in under budget, saving $95,000,” Brouillet said.

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The district also received more revenue than expected for the same fiscal year. Several Carrabassett Valley students who previously attended Stratton Elementary School stayed in RSU 58, bringing $75,000 in tuition.

Another $74,000 came from unorganized territory students at the high school. Eustis also paid $30,000 as its contractual obligation when it withdrew from the district. The district received $56,000 for serving state agency clients. The district added $40,000 in MaineCare reimbursements, officials said.

Brouillet said the board decided to use some funds for projects it had postponed. The maintenance crew received $20,000 to purchase two vehicles. Teachers will use $30,000 to pay for the professional development required to start meeting new state Common Core graduation requirements.

The board also appropriated $5,000 for a professional review and update of district policies. A new Stakeholders Committee will use $5,000. The last expenditure on the list, Brouillet said, was the plan to spend $20,000 to change all locks on all doors in school district buildings.

“No one knows how many people have keys to buildings, and this will take care of that,” she said.

The new digital system will work like swipe cards for hotel room doors. The cards will be preprogrammed for the authorized user’s documented date and time. The card will expire automatically when the allotted time ends.

The board voted to return the remaining $293,000 to the towns, she said. Since the four towns’ tax obligations cannot be reassessed mid-year, the amounts will be applied to each town’s annual share of next year’s budget.

Based on each town’s most recent property valuations, Avon could receive approximately $34,408; Kingfield could receive $118,498; Phillips can expect $68,601; and Strong can expect $71,493.

In other news, selectmen learned they did not receive Maine Department of Economic and Community Development funding to rebuild its aging wastewater treatment system. The board agreed to consider reapplying for DECD funding next year or consider applying for a USDA grant/loan package.

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