As a Regional School Unit 16 Budget Committee member, I would like to share why I voted “No” on the proposed RSU 16 budget; RSU 16 includes Mechanic Falls, Minot and Poland.

First, the budget, as presented, included a $185,808 “interest only” payment for the more than $5 million (over $7.86 million when interest is included) bond to put in state-of-the-art HVAC systems in all three elementary schools. The bond does not address any other issues with the aging schools.

If the bond for 20 years passed, a Minot home valued at $100,000 would see its annual school taxes increase $116. For a home valued at $150,000, school taxes would increase $173.

For Poland, the increase would be $126.90 and 190.35, respectively.

Mechanic Falls is completing a reevaluation, so its tax impact could not yet be calculated to figure the school tax increase.

Secondly, the budget proposed new positions, but none of these take into account that Minot and Mechanic Falls elementary schools have a teacher-student ratio of one teacher to 14 students and Poland Community School has a ratio of one teacher to 18 students.


The district was notified in March that Title 1 funds could be in jeopardy. I wonder what other positions are unbalanced.

Each student should have equal treatment as well as teachers and support staff.

The next step in the budget process is Monday, April 10, when the Board of Directors is due to vote on RSU 16’s proposed budget.

Mary-Beth Taylor, Poland Selectboard, Poland

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