$10.8M RSU 68 budget assessments set for four district towns

DOVER-FOXCROFT — A week after residents of the four RSU 68 communities approved a $10,817,189 budget for the 2017-18 academic year — via a combined tally of 303 to 124 votes — the school board took the next step and set the assessments for Charleston, Dover-Foxcroft, Monson and Sebec during a June 20 meeting at the SeDoMoCha School.

The approximate $10.8 million figure represents an increase of $302,103 (2.78 percent) from the 2016-17 spending plan. The budget for 2017-18 is made up of nearly $5,537,900 in state contributions (an increase of a little more than $255,100 from the current year) and another $5,279,294 in local revenues with the four RSU 68 communities having a combined local assessment of just under $4,634,570. This figure — comprised of local contributions, additional local monies and funding for adult education — is up by about $87,900 or 1.93 percent from the 2016-17 figure of approximately $4,546,670.

The four total proposed assessments are $2,780,636 for Dover-Foxcroft, an increase of approximately $60,250; $660,670 for Sebec, about $44,875 more than in 2016-17; $628,518 for Charleston, a figure up by about $12,721 from the year before; and $564,744 for Monson, a decrease of $3,000-plus in the assessment for this town.

In other business, the school board gave its support to the efforts being made by grade 6 social studies teacher Chris Miller to apply for grant funding to construct a nature trail on the SeDoMoCha School property.

Miller said he has been in contact with various agencies, such as the Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife, to work on gaining all the necessary approvals on the site plan. He said an application likely would be made to the Recreational Trails Program of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration, which provides funds to develop and maintain recreational trails and trail-related facilities for motorized and nonmotorized uses.

A sum of up to $25,000 may be sought. Miller said there is no guarantee that should the application be approved then the full amount would be awarded, but if so additional funds could help make the trail ADA-compliant and provide for tree identification markers and field guides.

Miller said the Recreational Trails Program has a 20 percent match requirement, but this can be in the form of volunteer work. “I think we can match $5,000,” he said, saying a possibility could be for volunteers at trail projects on the school campus in Guilford as well as in Greenville to help out in Dover-Foxcroft with the SeDoMoCha workers also heading to the other two county sites to assist at these locations.

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