POLAND — Residents from Mechanic Falls, Minot and Poland advanced a nearly $24.7 million school district budget Tuesday that is headed to a June 13 validation vote.

The Regional School Unit 16 budget for the 2024 fiscal year represents an increase of $1.5 million over the current budget.

A cracked boiler elicited the most discussion during the district budget meeting. Residents wanted to know why no money was budgeted to replace the Minot Consolidated School boiler that was cracked in its casing last September.

Superintendent Ken Healey said if more money for it he was afraid the entire school budget would be voted down at the June 13 referendum.

Healey added, “We would have thumbed our noses at the voters” who earlier this month voted against a $5.1 million bond to update heating and ventilation systems in the three elementary schools.

Randy Lautz, a Poland resident and candidate for a seat on the RSU 16 board of directors, disagreed with Healey’s assertion.


Lautz said the community was “supportive to take care of one (the Minot School)” and added he was “disappointed it wasn’t brought up in the budget process at all.”

Healey said a recently organized tri-town task force is supposed to come up with a long-term plan to see what is needed for each of the school buildings.

Residents in all three towns will have a chance to vote for the budget in its entirety on a one-question ballot on June 13. The measure can pass even if it fails in a particular town because approval is be based on total votes from the three communities.

Fifty-seven voters attended Tuesday’s meeting: 13 each from Mechanic Falls and Minot and 31 from Poland.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.