JAY — Regional School Unit 73 will hold a districtwide vote Thursday on whether to join the Western Maine Regional Service Center, which could save money.

The meeting for residents of Jay, Livermore and Livermore Falls is set for 6 p.m. at Spruce Mountain Elementary School, followed by a regularly scheduled board meeting at 6:15 p.m. at the school.

Regional service centers are intended to lower costs through consolidating services and reducing state subsidies for central office administration. The deadline for joining is Nov. 12.

The Western Maine Regional Service Center involves school districts headquartered in Bethel, Carrabec, Dixfield, Farmington, Fayette, Lisbon, Madison, Rumford and Strong.

In April, RSU 73 interim Superintendent Robert Webster said the district is expected to gain $61,892 in subsidies for central office administration if it joins the center. The state would also pay for each district’s student information system, which manages student data, saving the Spruce Mountain School District about $10,000.

“We are guaranteed the money for the student information system,” Superintendent Scott Albert said Monday. “The subsidy estimate I also believe is accurate. However how the subsidy filters through the funding formula is not cast in stone. It will still be a benefit to our district.”

RSU 73 pays $5,780, or $4 per student, as a member of the Western Maine Education Collaborative.

Membership in the Western Maine Regional Service Center would cost $3 per student, plus $1 per student for services. An additional $1 per student, or $1,805, is required to remain a member of the collaborative. Many of its functions would be taken over by the Regional Service Center.

If approved, the center would begin operation in July 2020 for two years.

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