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5/10/2013 10:50:00 AM
RSU 12 Board Approves Wiscasset Withdrawal Plan, Budget
Members of the Sheepscot Valley RSU 12 board of directors raise their hands in favor of the draft withdrawal agreement. (D. Lobkowicz photo)
Members of the Sheepscot Valley RSU 12 board of directors raise their hands in favor of the draft withdrawal agreement. (D. Lobkowicz photo)
By Dominik Lobkowicz

At their May 9 meeting, the Sheepscot Valley Regional School Unit 12 board of directors approved the draft agreement for Wiscasset to withdraw from the district.

The withdrawal was first set in motion when voters approved starting the withdrawal process last June. Committees from the RSU and Wiscasset have been meeting since December to complete a draft agreement.

The committees found agreement on the substance of their draft at their meeting on May 2 and worked during the next week to finalize the agreement's language.

Of the 19 board members present at the May 9 board meeting, 17 voted in favor of the draft agreement, with Westport Island member Richard DeVries voting against and Wiscasset board member Mary Myers, who chairs the Wiscasset Withdrawal Committee, abstaining.

In other business, the board approved a $26,511,204 budget for the 2013-2014 school year.

A $26,411,204 budget initially proposed by the Finance Committee failed 9-10 in the first vote on the budget.

Board Chair Hilary Holm said the initial budget proposal was an attempt to include feedback given during the budget development process. Community members and RSU 12 staff expressed concerns at previous board meetings about how and what was being cut from the proposed budget, which board members said would need to increase by around $2 million over the current year in order to maintain current programs.

A second proposal increased the budget by $100,000, with board members expressing an interest in those funds going, in some fashion, to arts, music, foreign language, and sports - all of which are facing some form of cuts in the proposed budget.

The board remained split but passed the increased budget with a 12-7 vote.

Residents of the RSU's eight towns - Wiscasset, Whitefield, Westport Island, Windsor, Somerville, Palermo, Chelsea, and Alna - will have the opportunity to vote budget cost centers up or down at the district budget meeting scheduled for Saturday, June 8.

Residents will vote on the final budget by referendum on Friday, June 28.

Read more about the Wiscasset withdrawal plan and the RSU 12 budget in the May 16 edition of The Lincoln County News.

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