ANDOVER — The Andover Withdrawal Committee will meet at 6 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 30, at the Andover Public Library.
Chairwoman Susan Merrow said in an e-mail that work will continue on the development of a budget if the town should vote early next year to withdraw from SAD 44.
She said, too, that nomination papers are available for three seats on a committee to govern an Andover School District, if residents should vote to withdraw.
“It’s not too early for citizens to think about being on the board of a new district. If they are even curious, now is a good time to come forward,” she said in the email.
She said the date for the withdrawal vote will be set by the Maine Department of Education, after the Withdrawal Committee and SAD 44 agree to terms and the DOE approves.
“A school board and budget will need to be in place quickly,” she said.
The committee’s withdrawal plan was submitted to SAD 44 just before Christmas. Negotiations between the district and the town are expected to begin in early January.
Nomination papers are also available for one seat on the SAD 44 board from Andover. Current board member Keith Smith has chosen not to run again because of his long commute to his job, Merrow said.
She said that if residents vote not to withdraw from the district, the election for the Andover School Committee will not take place.
Election for those positions, as well as for the SAD 44 board seat, take place at the Andover Town Hall from 4-8 p.m. March 19.
“But we need to be prepared for a yes, too,” she said.
Nomination papers for any of the positions may be picked up at the Andover Town Office on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., or on Wednesdays from 1 to 6 p.m. The number of signatures required and the due date for returning the papers will be provided at the town office.
Andover voted in 1965 to join SAD 44, which also includes Bethel, Greenwood, Newry and Woodstock.
The issue of withdrawal came about because the SAD 44 board voted to close the Andover Elementary School in June 2011 to save money. The school, which was built about 1916 for high school students, has about 30 students in kindergarten to grade five.
Andover approved paying the district $214,000 to keep it open in 2011-12 and $68,000 for this school year.