KINGFIELD — Selectmen on Monday advised a mother of Kingfield Elementary School students to get others interested in the Regional School Unit 58 budget for 2018-19.

Resident Julie Swain told selectmen she asked for information about potential budget cuts at a recent school board meeting and didn’t receive a satisfactory response.

“Sometimes a group of angry mothers can get a lot more done than selectmen,” Selectman Walter Kilbreth said.

Swain said a lot of her friends have moved from the area, and one of the main reasons was the school district.

She said she is upset that the district proposed cutting a teacher from the elementary school and one from the Phillips Elementary School.

Swan said she considered Superintendent Susan Pratt’s explanation of state subsidy cuts because of fewer students and fewer disadvantaged students, convoluted.

“You can’t just roll over,” Swain said. “This is our money. …”

In other matters, the board voted to table a proposal from the new Kingfield Trail Builders Committee and asked spokeswoman Polly McMichael to require that the majority of the members be Kingfield residents.

“I don’t think you’re going to get anywhere with the Budget Committee without having a majority of the committee from Kingfield,” Administrative Assistant Leanna Targett said.

The membership includes Freeman Township and New Portland residents.

The group had asked for $4,000 from taxpayers.

“It’s our tax money that’s going to be spent,” Selectman John Dill told McMichael.

Selectmen also agreed to move forward with plans to install a heat pump with three heating and cooling zones in the municipal offices in Webster Hall. Targett will seek updated quotes and present options at the next meeting.

Finishing their budget recommendations, selectmen declined to support many of the nonprofit organizations, while backing requests that encouraged economic development.

“Kingfield Festival Days does bring a lot of people into the town,” Selectman Wade Browne noted.

Sno-Wanderers snowmobile club representative Jim Boyce asked selectmen to include $5,000 in the budget for the club. He said machinery is aging, and volunteer resources are stretched thin.

The town money is spent on repairs, fuel, maintenance, bridge building and trail grooming, Boyce said. A few, loyal volunteers do the work but don’t get paid.

The board approved the request.


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