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2019-20 RSU 68 finances in development

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DOVER-FOXCROFT — RSU 68 officials are in the midst of putting together the components that will make up the 2019-20 academic year budget.

“We had our first budget meeting on the 29th and really what we did was look at a PowerPoint of our needs and wants,” Superintendent Stacy Shorey said during a Feb. 5 school board meeting at the SeDoMoCha School.

She said the budget process is always guided by making transparent, student-centered decisions that are fiscally responsible and reflect the mission of the district.

“We have taken all the needs and our wants and (Financial Manager Teresa Scott) has worked her magic to come up with an expenditure budget,” Shorey said.

The superintendent said she is awaiting the ED 279 report from the Maine Department of Education which will contain state subsidy information for 2019-20. With this data in hand, a revenue budget will be devised for the next meeting of the finance committee scheduled for the afternoon of Tuesday, Feb. 26.

The school board will vote on a budget in the spring, and this spending plan will be brought forward to a district meeting in May. Finances approved that evening go to the June referendum in the towns of Charleston, Dover-Foxcroft, Monson, and Sebec.

The current RSU 68 budget totals just under $11.56 million.

In other business, third-grader Lily Taylor was present to read a letter to the directors she wrote to Shorey on her concerns with the use of plastic draws in the building.

“Dear Mrs. Shorey, I think that our school system should use paper straws instead of plastic ones. Here’s why: no ocean animals have that great eyesight, there is so much trash in the ocean that it is like a whole other continent! Plastic straws get up turtles’ noses and bleed so much that sadly, some die. And penguins dive in the ocean. They get plastic around their necks or in their system and kills them.

“Bit by bit our ocean is becoming a huge dump pile and disappearing. That is why I think we should use paper straws instead of plastic.”

“Because of Lily’s efforts (Food Services Manager Heather Whitten) has gone through and taken out all the straws at the middle school level,” Shorey said. “If you want a straw you can ask for one but otherwise there are no straws.”

“We are starting to work really hard to be green at SeDoMoCha, so thank you Lily,” the superintendent said.

Foxcroft Academy Head of School Arnold Shorey reported that morning a presentation on the forthcoming Piscataquis County Ice Arena was made to the Kiwanis Club of Dover-Foxcroft. The $5 million project is being funded by the Libra Foundation and the arena will be managed day-to-day by Foxcroft Academy.

Shorey said members of the Dexter Sunrise Kiwanis were present at the Dover-Foxcroft Kiwanis meeting, which worked out well as those involved with the ice arena are starting to reach out across the region. He said an advisory committee will be formed soon and a program director will be hired in the near future.

“Construction’s going well and we expect to have ice in July, so that’s exciting,” Shorey said.

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