CANTON — Selectmen said Thursday night they do not favor supporting the Mexico Board of Selectmen’s decision on Feb. 9 asking Regional School Unit 10 Superintendent Craig King and the school board to reduce its 2015-16 budget.

Selectmen talked at length about a letter from Mexico selectmen wanting the Canton board’s backing.

Chairman Donny Hutchins read the letter and RSU 10 Superintendent Craig King’s response sent to selectmen in the district towns of Hanover, Rumford, Roxbury, Buckfield, Byron, Carthage, Dixfield, Peru, Canton, Sumner and Hartford.

“From what Superintendent King said, that 10 percent would pretty much decimate the school system,” Administrator Scotty Kilbreth said.

King said in the Feb. 24 letter that if the school board reduced the budget by 10 percent, it would total approximately $3.6 million.

“Coupled with the 2014-15 reductions, this would total a $5.7 million decrease in a two-year period,” King said. “This would simply be disastrous for the students we serve.”

In 2014-15, the school board eliminated 44 full- and part-time positions and made other programming cuts totaling $2.1 million. Now they are proposing to close three to four schools in the near future to further reign in spending.

Selectman Brian Keene, who identified himself as an RSU 10 teacher, said Mexico’s requested reduction would eliminate 90 teachers. He urged selectmen to write a letter stating Canton would “prefer not to cut 10 percent more of our children’s education.”

In other business, the board:

• Voted 5-0 to approve a high bid of $5,025 from Maynard Farrar for a 2½-acre lot off Golden Ridge Road. Other bids were $3,500 by Carl Lueders and $5,000 by Timothy Mitchell.

• Voted 5-0 to give Mitchell more than four acres off Jewett Hill Road for his bid of $7,000. Other bids were $3,500 from Lueders, $6,475.99 from David Bowen and $5,150 from Gerald McKenna Logging & Excavation.

• Voted 5-0 to approve an abatement to the town of $5,484.30 for the Jewett Hill Road property that Kilbreth said was improperly handled by a previous administration.

• Voted 5-0 to abate Dennis Moreau $441.47 after Kilbreth said Moreau got billed by the assessor for a trailer he doesn’t own.

• Voted 5-0 to appoint Mike Timberlake to the Planning Board until June 30, 2017.

• Named Emily Bourassa to replace Amber Spear on the Recreation Committee.

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