RSU 68 town assessments set

DOVER-FOXCROFT — Two days after RSU 68 approved the 2022-23 budget, the school board formally certified the votes and set the town assessments.

Voters across the four district communities approved a $12,817,099 RSU 68 budget with a combined tally of 725 in favor and 230 opposed on Election Day, June 14.

“The budget, I’m so happy it passed handily by about a 70/30 split,” Superintendent Stacy Shorey said during a meeting at the SeDoMoCha School on June 16.

The $12.8 million 2022-23 figure is up by $97,437 from the current academic year’s nearly $12 million total.

The amount of the spending plan taxpayers will cover is down by $156,607 or 3.31 percent to $4,575,874 from the current $4.7 million-plus in assessments.

In April, Shorey said each town would see a decrease in its proportional share of the RSU 68 budget. The combined assessments are made up of $3,764,428 in local contributions, $747,481 in additional local monies and nearly $64,000 in RSU 68’s proportional share of the Piscataquis Valley Adult Education Cooperative budget. 

Dover-Foxcroft’s assessment would be $2,771,576; Sebec would have $682,845; Charleston would contribute $621,975; and the share for Monson would be $499,477.

The $11,999,662 2021-22 budget includes proportional shares of $642,214 for Charleston, $2,864,532 for Dover-Foxcroft, $521,271 for Monson and $704,465 for Sebec.

The school board approved a request to transfer $200,000 from regular instruction to the facilities and maintenance account. Shorey said work needs to be done on doors and floors at SeDoMoCha, and the funds will also be used for the new home of the central office.

RSU 68 purchased the Richard M. Brown Building on the Bangor Road from Penquis for $750,000 to serve as the new home of the RSU 68 central office. The facility was formerly the home of the Charlotte White Center main office before the organization merged with Penquis.

In addition to housing the central office, the building could be used for the day treatment and occupational therapy programs. A program to serve area 3-year-olds planned to start in the fall of 2023 and a student technology program are also planned for the site. A portion of the building may also be rented out.

In December RSU 68, residents approved a referendum for the construction of a new central office building to be located on the SeDoMoCha School campus. The board later decided to purchase a building rather than construct one because it was more economically feasible.

“We are starting to pack up. We need to be out of our offices tomorrow,” Shorey said. She said items are set to be moved a few miles away to the new central office early the following week.

Two days before the board meeting, students had their last day of classes.

SeDoMoCha Principal Adam Gudroe said the end of the school year always features a number of events, and this spring had happenings similar to pre-pandemic years. He said this included a spring semiformal and respective field trips to Bar Harbor and Boothbay Harbor and seventh- and eighth-graders. The grade eight awards night was held in person, instead of being conducted via drive-thru as was done two years ago.

Gudroe said the enrollment numbers ended at 637, split 338 and 299 between the elementary and middle schools. He said very similar numbers should be in place for the fall.

Assistant Principal/Athletic Director Cameron Archer gave an update on the spring sports season for the Eagles teams. 

He said the A baseball team went 10-0-2 and defeated Mattanawcook Junior High School of Lincoln 2-0 in the Penquis League championship held at Foxcroft Academy. Archer said baseball players who also were on the football and basketball teams did not lose a single game across the three seasons.

The SeDoMoCha Middle School A softball team finished 3-7, but reached the semifinals after winning three of the squad’s final four games.

B baseball went 4-4 and B softball ended 2022 at 3-2.

Archer said the track team set a number of school records this past season and had four first-place performances at the championship meet

“This speaks to the time they have put in, as well as the coaches,” he said.

Archer said about 85 students have signed up for fall sports, with some teams still needing a few more members to ensure healthy numbers. 

Later in the meeting, Nicole Killam was appointed as the field hockey coach, Corey Bjornson the head football coach and Drew Dankert the assistant football coach. Coaches are still needed for cross country and golf.

The meeting was the final one for Vice Chairperson Marc Poulin, who finished third in the voting for two Dover-Foxcroft seats on the school board among five candidates.

Board Chairperson Jenny Chase — who was reelected for another three-year stint — said Poulin had served three terms, nine years as an RSU 68 director. She said Poulin was vice chairperson for at least three years.

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