POLAND — Selectmen on Tuesday were annoyed by a recent request from Regional School Unit 16’s lawyer for information on the ownership of the school bus bay in the town garage.

“I’m frustrated,” Selectman Walter Gallagher said, “to have this dumped on us …” RSU 16 Superintendent Tina Meserve hired a lawyer and didn’t even take it to the school board, he said.

On Oct. 24, the town received a request under Maine’s Freedom of Access Act from attorney William Stockmeyer asking for documents related to agreements between the Poland School Department and the town to buy a bay in the garage for $185,000. The agreement was made before RSU 16 was formed.

Selectmen and school officials had discussed the question of ownership of the bay earlier this year and sent a letter to Meserve on April 19 saying they found no evidence that the district owned the bay. The letter offered adjustments to past payments and explained that the $800 monthly payments RSU 16 is making are for operating the garage.

Town Manager Bradley Plante said Meserve apparently never got the letter, based on an email he received a month ago. He immediately emailed her a copy.

Gallagher said he contacted a couple of Poland’s school board members and learned they knew nothing of the issue.

“It’s not the way things need to be done in our community,” Selectman Steve Robinson said.

Plante said it should be a matter between the school board and the Board of Selectmen.

Selectman Janice Kimball suggested it might not be too late for discussions between the two boards.

Administrative Assistant Nikki Pratt, who deals with FOAA requests the town receives, said she intends to reply to the request but she doesn’t expect she will be able to begin her research until Nov. 14.

In other business, selectmen:

• Decided to follow their customary schedule of workshops preparing next year’s municipal budget, sticking with the usual three or four evenings rather than attempting an all-day session on a Saturday.

* Agreed to proceed with plans to form a commission to review the town charter and take action at their Dec. 6 meeting.

* Heard from Plante that he sent RSU 16 officials a request for formal consideration of a review of the district’s cost-sharing formula and he understands the matter will be discussed at the school board’s Nov. 14 meeting.


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