PARIS – A public hearing will be held Tuesday to provide residents with information about a referendum to allow SAD 17 officials to borrow $1.1 million to address safety, security and code issues in some school buildings.

The hearing is set for 7 p.m. Sept. 2 in the Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School Forum. It will be followed by the SAD 17 Board of Directors meeting in Room E116/118.

Superintendent Mark Eastman is urging the public to attend the hearing to be better informed on the ballot question presented to them in their individual towns Sept. 9.

The $1.1 million grant, which is 20 percent of the state’s Revolving Renovation Fund program, will be used to address health, safety and air quality issues. One project is making Oxford Hills Middle School compliant with the Americans With Disabilities Act.

Eastman told the school board this summer that although voters accepted the grant in June, the school’s attorneys advised that new legislation requires SAD 17 voters to approve a specific ballot question that lets school officials incur the debt.

Previously such action could be taken as part of the school’s annual budget vote.

“Anytime you take out a loan you have to get citizens’ approval if you don’t pay it back within the year,” Eastman said Friday.

In this case, a total of 58 percent of the $1.1 million is considered “forgivable” and the remaining $430,000 will be paid back over five year without interest.

“There’s no more effective way to do it,” he said.

On Sept. 9, each of th eight SAD 17 towns will hold a meeting to vote on the question. Approval will allow SAD 17 to approve the issuance of bonds or notes for capital project purposes.



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