RUMFORD — The Regional School Unit 10 board of directors is reviewing a $29.8 million budget for 2020-21, a nearly $2 million increase from this year’s $27.9 million.

The plan would increase tax assessments to Rumford, Mexico, Roxbury, Buckfield, Sumner, Hartford and Hanover an average of 1.6%.

The district expects to know Thursday the cost of its employee health insurance. A 10% increase was projected, but the district is now estimating a 2% increase from this fiscal year, which ends June 30.

In other business Monday, the board approved a ban for all student trips due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The board needed to make it official, Superintendent Deb Alden said, so a group of seniors at Buckfield Junior-Senior High School could get a refund for a trip to Florida this month.

The board approved a preconcept design for a new school for grades prekindergarten to five, and possibly up to grade 8. It would be for students from Rumford and Meroby elementary schools, and Mountain Valley Middle School. The latter two are in Mexico.

Alden said previously that officials are looking at a 20-plus acre site, or 35 acres for a combined elementary and middle school.

Business Manager Leah Kaulback told the board the district will use $100,000 carried over from this year’s budget toward the construction.

Alden said the money will be returned to the district once they receive bonds for the project.

“We’re looking to take money from the carryover to start it up so that we don’t have to raise the money from taxpayers,” she said.

“And because of (state funding) we’re then going to get the money back,” she said. “I look at it as like you’re borrowing money from your own savings and then you’re going to put it back into that instead of making somebody go out and raise it.”

Also, the board approved a $30,000 contract with the Rumford Parks and Recreation Department to use the Hosmer Field Complex next year. The contract is for one year because town administrators say the field’s improved lighting system may reduce costs in coming years.

Director of Special Education Clarissa Fish and Building, Grounds and Transportation Director Scott Holmes presented budget proposals. Fish requested five new part-time employees to help Special Education teachers manage some of their clerical work. Holmes spoke about a large paving project needed at Mountain Valley High School, among other needs.

The board will hold a budget workshop at 6 p.m. Monday, April 6, at Mountain Valley High School. It will be livestreamed on the RSU 10 Facebook page.


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