October 20, 2021

SAD 41 starts work on budget

MILO — Peter Hamlin, vice chairman of the SAD 41 board of directors, conducted a meeting of the SAD 41 Budget Committee held Tuesday at the Penquis Valley Middle School library. Residents from several towns in SAD 41 were in the audience.

During the meeting, Peter Harvey, superintendent, briefed the members of the board on where receipts for the district come from and the types of expenses necessary to keep the district operating.

Harvey said the original budget had figured an 8 percent increase. He said his goal was to cut the proposed budget.

Milo Town Manager Jane Jones explained that the town selectmen and Budget Committee had made deep cuts in municipal spending. She said this was based on anticipated state funding. She said the Piscataquis County assessment was down from last year about two cents. She said her biggest concern was the amount the school assessment would be. “It does no good for the town and the county to cut to the minimum if the schools can’t hold the line,” Jones said. She reminded board members that “we are in tough economic times, we need to hold the line.”

Administratators attending the meeting felt it was a good idea to involve more people in the budget process. James Smith, principal of the Penquis Valley Middle School said, after the meeting was over, “it was a productive meeting.” He said he felt the people attending from other than the board had a better understanding of the state’s process in funding and in the formula that is used to fund towns.

Robert Gates Jr., principal of the Penquis Valley High School, said it had been a “good dialogue between board members, the administration and the public.” He said he was pleased mention had been made of including suggestions from teachers into the formation of the budget. He felt it had been a “good approach to the budget problem.”

David Walker, SAD 41 elementary supervisor, said he was pleased the board and administrators were sharing concerns. He hoped that the Legislature would take care of some of the issues with additional fundings. He said money had been found to help the current budget and hoped more could be found for the next two years.

“I am encouraged that all factions are willing to sit down and work together,” Walker said. He said the goal of all attending the meeting was to continue to give the district children the best possible educational programs.

Administrators attending included Robert Gates, James Smith, David Walker and Christine Beres, school principals; Roseann Lilianthal, SAD 41 special-education director; and John Sherburne, director of transportation, operations and maintenance.

Board members attending included: Karen French, LaGrange; Peter and Tony Hamlin, Michael Grinnell and Edwin Treworgy, Milo; Daniel Boss and Carla Smith, Brownville; and Rodney Cole, Atkinson.

Residents attending included: Jeffrey Gahagan, Fleet Bank manager; Stanley Pokrywka, representative of the Milo Business Association; Jane Jones, Milo town manager; Joseph Beres, Milo selectman and SAD 41 bus driver; Harry Lanphear, former board member from Brownville; and Kathy Witham, SAD 41 clerk.

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