LIVERMORE FALLS — Kenneth Healey, superintendent of Regional School Unit 73, has scheduled a workshop with the district’s attorney, board of directors and a subcommittee to discuss options on the local cost-sharing formula.

The meeting is at 6 p.m. Monday, Feb. 8, in the conference room at the Central Office, 9 Cedar St. in Livermore Falls.

Town officials from Jay, Livermore and Livermore Falls have been invited. The meeting is open to the public.

Attorney Bill Stockmeyer of Drummond Woodsum law firm in Portland will help school officials figure the tax impact of the devaluation of the Verso Androscoggin LLC’s paper mill in Jay and the affect it will have on each town’s assessment, Healey said. Jay’s valuation has also been reduced.

The Jay School Department and Regional School Unit 36 in Livermore and Livermore Falls consolidated school systems on July 1, 2011, after voters approved it in January 2011. The approval followed an earlier merger attempt that was rejected by voters in each town in January 2009.

“The meeting is really about following the reorganizational plan,” Healey said. “On the sixth year, it requires the board of directors to evaluate the current cost-sharing formula and that’s really what we’re doing.”

The RSU Reorganizational Planning Committee developed a plan to consolidate the two school systems, including a cost-sharing method. The intent of the plan dated October 2010 “is to apportion the participation of each member town in providing for funding that is local and additional local funding to meet the state of Maine basic funding requirements.”

The method for sharing costs considered above the state’s Essential Programs and Services formula for each member town is determined by a percentage of state valuation.

The district budget is $18.6 million. Of that amount, $2.28 million is considered above the state’s funding formula. According to information provided by RSU 73 Business Manager Michele Coates, the towns’ share of that amount is: Jay, $1.7 million; Livermore, $303,412; and Livermore Falls, $250,067. 

The amount within the state’s Essential Programs and Services formula is funded based on each town’s valuation and student population.

Healey said the student population in RSU 73 is: Jay, 683 students; Livermore, 302; and Livermore Falls, 529.

Serving on the school board’s subcommittee are two directors from each town. Tentatively they are: Amy McDaniel and Mike Morrell of Jay, Mark Holt and Cindy Young of Livermore, and Denise Rodzen and Tammy Frost of Livermore Falls.

There are also directors who are willing to step in to be on the committee if a member cannot make it.

According to the reorganizational plan, starting in the sixth budget year, the RSU 73 board will review and may adopt a different method of sharing costs that are local and additional to the state of Maine basic funding requirements. Approval requires a majority vote of the full school board that includes at least one affirmative vote of a board member from each town in the district.

If the board does not adopt a change starting with the sixth budget year, the original valuation method shall continue unless amended by voters in the district. Amendments to the cost-sharing formula may incorporate any factor or combination of factors permitted by law in addition to or in lieu of valuation and resident pupils.

The reorganizational plan also outlines the method to amend the cost-sharing formula following the RSU 73 board’s decision.

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