LIVERMORE FALLS — The RSU 73 board’s second review of a proposed 2014-15 budget showed a budget of $18.86 million, or about $283,800 more than this year.

Making the case for the Spruce Mountain High School requests Thursday night were Principal T.J. Plourde and Assistant Principal and Athletic Director Lee Hixon, who proposed adding new freshman sports teams, such as boys and girls soccer, boys’ and girls’ basketball, field hockey, football, baseball, softball and junior varsity tennis.

Spruce Mountain teams will become part of the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference at the beginning of the 2014-15 school year, which means they will be competing with larger schools than they have in the Mountain Valley conference. Many of the KVAC schools also have freshman sports teams.

If approved, the costs for these coaches could be as high as $19,000.

He also recommended that the district pay the $9,000 in dues and fees for the Spruce Mountain Area Robotics Team. The group is currently centered on science, technology, engineering and mathematics and raises money for nearly all the costs associated with their involvement.

In addition, Plourde strongly supported the continuation of the recently added position of student services support assistant, who provides a variety of services in the high school office for the 478 enrolled students.

Board Chairwoman Denise Rodzen commented that many of the position’s duties are secretarial.

However, Plourde said many of the duties include in-school detention, POWER school reports, behavior reports and a multitude of other tasks. He said if that position was eliminated, the two office secretarial jobs would be much more difficult.

The total salary and benefit package for the position is just over $37,000.

Superintendent Robert Wall said laptops will be replaced at the high school level and for sixth-graders this year. Technology representative Craig Suttie said the district will be responsible for paying $273 a year for four years for the new computers.

Special Services Director Tina Collins said the special education department will experience a nearly $100,000 increase, largely due to bringing the contracts together from the former RSU 36 and Jay School Department and for step increases for special education teachers and educational technicians. The district serves 227 special needs students, with 15 teachers and about 35 educational technicians.

Ken Vining, director of buildings, grounds and transportation, said two school buses will be purchased this year, and a variety of maintenance repairs, including the replacement of the boiler at Jay Elementary School and electrical upgrades at Livermore Elementary School, are scheduled during the 2014-15 budget year.

Wall said the proposed budget is very conservative.

“Things go up, like fuel and electricity,” he said. “We’re actually falling behind.”

The board will hold one more special budget session on March 25 before voting to adopt a budget at its regular meeting March 27.

Residents of the three member towns, Jay, Livermore Falls and Livermore, will vote on the board-approved budget on April 8 at a districtwide meeting and at a referendum on each town April 29.


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