MEXICO — RSU 10 Superintendent Tom Ward told selectmen Tuesday night that declining local property values mean there may be more state funds for the district.

He said the cost of education has steadily increased, but Mexico may be in luck due to a decrease in property valuation for 2012-13.

“With Mexico’s property valuation decreasing this year, there’ll be an opportunity for General Purpose Aid funding,” he said.

The reason for the drop in property values is fewer sales, and property values are finally catching up with the real estate values, he said.

“Soon, there’ll be a slow shift of (General Purpose Aid) funding to where it needs to be,” Ward said. “It won’t be overnight, but at least its heading in the right direction.”

The board also discussed with Ward the idea of consolidating sports programs and buses.


Selectman Reggie Arsenault asked whether there would be a lot of savings from consolidating sports programs, especially if there were a population drop or a decrease in school enrollment.

“We’ve already combined some teams in the region where there were low numbers of participants,” Ward said. It helped save the programs in the end, he said.

However, Ward said any time there is consolidation people get protective.

“People really rally around their town schools,” Ward said. “I understand that. It’s their pride and joy, but our goal is to make the best use of the space we have available.”

RSU 10 includes the 12 towns of Canton, Carthage, Dixfield, Peru, Buckfield, Hartford, Sumner, Byron, Mexico, Roxbury, Rumford and Hanover.

Chairman Richie Philbrick added, “We don’t realize it, but in some cases, kids can adjust better than adults.”


Ward also said RSU 10 has tried consolidating bus trips, particularly by combining two teams that are going to the same school for a game.

When Selectman George Byam later asked Ward how the Mexico schools are doing in comparison to the rest of the nation, Ward was optimistic.

“Nationally, we’re doing very well,” Ward said. “Things are moving in the right direction. I won’t say we’re perfect, but we’re always striving to reach perfection.”

“That’s good to hear. That’s what the future’s all about: reaching for that goal,” Philbrick said.

In other business, the board unanimously voted to allow highway department mechanic Jeff Wade to use town equipment to build a float for the Christmas parade.

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