Warrant signed for Nov. 6 Dover-Foxcroft referendum
DOVER-FOXCROFT — When Dover-Foxcroft residents head to the polls on Tuesday, Nov. 6 they will also be voting on three land use-related ordinances, after the selectmen signed the documentation for a special town meeting referendum during a Sept. 10 meeting.
Citizens will be asked if they wish to enact a revised land use ordinance, a land use ordinance pertaining to “Mega Projects: Transportation Corridors” and a land use ordinance pertaining to “Mega Projects: Large-Scale Water Extraction.”
A public hearing on the referendum will be part of the selectmen’s meeting at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 22. The Dover-Foxcroft planning board will also hold a public hearing on the three warrant questions at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 27.
In other business, the selectmen heard from both RSU 68 Superintendent Stacy Shorey and Foxcroft Academy Head of School Arnold Shorey for updates on the respective pre-kindergarten to grade 8 and grade 9-12 school systems based in town.
Stacy Shorey said the SeDoMoCha School has two new administrators for 2018-19, Principal Adam Gudroe and Assistant Principal Andy Shaw. She said Gudroe is from the Dexter area and he comes to SeDoMoCha after having served as assistant principal/athletic director at the Ridge View Community School in Dexter. Shorey said Shaw was in Greenville last year and he grew up in Millinocket.
“The other piece of good news is we retained almost all of our staff this year,” she said. The superintendent said three of a little more than 50 staff positions are new hires, compared to a count of around 20 in some years.
Shorey said Gordon Contracting of Sangerville has worked to redesign and rebuild the SeDoMoCha parking lot, which now features 45-degree angles for parking. “It’s working really well, we have 106 spaces,” she said.
The district website at www.sedomocha.org is in the process of being updated,. “We are hoping to roll that out in November or December of this year,” Shorey said, saying RSU 68 officials are also looking at a new school logo.
“We have right around 702 kids right now and our capacity with square feet is around 800,” Shorey said about enrollment numbers. She explained that realistically the building would be too crowded with nearly 800 pupils so the district is looking to move her office from the second floor to the former Head Start building located near campus.
“We are consistently growing in the middle school,” she said. The superintendent said next year the school will have Atkinson students, as the community will either be deorganized or will have withdrawn from SAD 41 in Milo if it remains a municipality and a vote to become part of the unorganized territory does not pass in November.
Arnold Shorey spoke next. “Our enrollment right now is also steady, it’s 432,” he said, with 321 students coming from the four RSU 68 communities, 82 being international pupils and 29 coming from other Maine towns.
The head of school said next month a visitation team would be coming to Foxcroft Academy as part of the process for becoming an International Baccalaureate School, and the number of credits needed to graduate as been increased from 20 to 22. “We are encouraging our students to take credits in the STEAM area,” he said.
“The capital campaign for the fieldhouse is progressing well,” Shorey said. He said just up West Main Street, “The ice rink is scheduled to open in 16 months.”
“We are partnering with the Libra Foundation,” Shorey said about the indoor rink. “That is their building, the fieldhouse that is our building.”
He said Foxcroft Academy officials will be meeting with the Libra Foundation to determine the precise relationship for the rink, such as the secondary school managing the facility for the organization. “There will be a meeting with the community because that will be a community building,” Shorey said.
Plans for the fieldhouse, which will be located on the soccer field, have the turf surface being large enough to be used for regular season/playoff field hockey games and the area can be utilized by other teams for practices.
“We are also going to share this with the community because that is critical,” Shorey said. He said the building will feature a .2-mile walking track, which will be great for the winter.
“I’m hoping we will break ground in two and a half years, we are on a good pace right now,” the head of school said.
In his report, Town Manager Jack Clukey said the street light project is scheduled to begin the week of Sept. 16. He wrote that cobrahead lights will be done first, with some decorative lights put in place too. The plan has lights that are out to be done as possible so the town does not have the cost of fixing lights that will be replaced within several weeks.
Clukey said the paved area behind the Piscataquis Regional YMCA is being resurfaced to convert it from a former skateboard park to pickleball. “The idea is to get more going on over there and make use of that surface,” he said.
The first select meeting of the month is normally held the second Monday evening, but to avoid conflicts with Columbus Day and Veteran’s Day the board will instead be meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 9 and Tuesday, Nov. 13.