KINGFIELD — Selectmen encouraged local residents to attend the next RSU 58 school board meeting at Kingfield Elementary School to learn more about cost-saving proposals for the district.

Selectmen noted at their Monday night meeting that the public can learn more about the plans at the 6:30 p.m. meeting Thursday, Sept 12.

The town also will have two new board representatives, Julie Talmadge and Sarah Byrne, and the directors will be reviewing options that could reduce district operating costs and probably close one or more school buildings. The new directors will join Beth Luce and Kim Jordan on the board.

The new board seats were added because Maine Department of Education Commissioner Stephen Bowen approved the RSU 58 plan to reapportion the number of representatives to reflect the population in the towns of Avon, Strong, Phillips and Kingfield. Talmadge and Byrne volunteered to serve until regular elections are conducted at the June town meeting.

On Sept. 16, the Kingfield Independent School Committee will meet at Webber Hall to plan for a public informational meeting after the regularly scheduled selectmen’s meeting at 6 p.m. The group is pursuing options that would allow the town to withdraw from the district and either join with another district or function on a stand-alone basis at the elementary school level and pay tuition for high school students to be educated elsewhere.

Selectmen authorized the installation of security cameras for a few months, purchasing several for Webster Hall and the town park, located behind the building. The goals, according to board Vice Chairman Mervin Wilson, included a deterrent to vandals and the provision of evidence if there were an accident on town property.

Jake Kilbreth, owner of ARC Enterprises, requested that the town discontinue a section of Commercial Street beyond the town fire station and the Nostalgia Tavern. The town maintains that section of road to the ARC Welding’s property, but Kilbreth wants his property at the end of the road to be more secure, and the only location to close the road is the section 377 feet to his business.

For any transfer of ownership, selectmen must adhere to a prescribed set of legal steps, explained Administrative Assistant Leanna Targett. First, property abutters must be notified, and selectmen must have heard from them at the Monday night meeting. Kilbreth’s request must be brought to a town meeting before selectmen can take any action. 

“I did ask him to tell me exactly where the gate will go,” Targett said. “I’m waiting to hear back from him.”

Dead River Co., formerly Webber Energy Fuels, has property between the tavern and ARC Welding, so Targett said Kilbreth also must provide a letter of agreement that the neighboring property owner understands and approves the proposed agreement between the town and ARC Welding.

In other news, selectmen agreed that a dilapidated fence around a town cemetery on West Kingfield Road could be taken down. Other options included replacing the 500 feet of fence, but the cost would be prohibitive and would probably not be replaced this year. If townspeople object to the lack of fencing, voters can approve funding replacement costs at the town meeting in 2014.


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