WATERVILLE — City councilors on Tuesday voted 7-0 to authorize a special municipal election to be held March 13 for voters to decide whether to dissolve Alternative Organizational Structure 92.

The council decision allows a question to be put to voters, asking if they approve of the termination of AOS 92, also known as Kennebec Valley Consolidated Schools, which includes Waterville, Winslow and Vassalboro schools.

If voters decide to terminate the AOS, they also would terminate the interlocal agreement in accordance with a plan of termination approved by the AOS 92 school board, the Waterville Board of Education and Maine commissioner of education.

The polls will be open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. March 13 at Waterville Junior High School, at 100 West River Road. City Clerk Patti Dubois said the voters’ entrance will be on the side of the building where buses park.

The AOS 92 board voted at a special meeting Dec. 27 to approve a plan to dissolve the district and send that plan of termination to the state Department of Education, where it needs to be ratified so it can go before voters.

Vassalboro voters are scheduled to decide March 13 whether to dissolve the AOS. Voting there is scheduled for 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Vassalboro Town Office, according to Vassalboro Town Manager Mary Sabins.

Winslow Town Clerk Pam Smiley said Tuesday that the Winslow Town Council took a first vote Dec. 11 to have voters decide March 13 whether to dissolve AOS 92, but the council must take a second vote, which is on next Monday’s council agenda.

The AOS is moving to dissolve itself so it can pursue restructuring as a regional service center based in Waterville. The service center would handle some of the duties a superintendent’s office does, such as payroll and accounts payable. That could lead to financial incentives from the state, which says such a formation would maximize efficiency and reduce costs.

If the state Department of Education and a majority of voters in any one of the three towns that make up AOS 92 decide to terminate the AOS, Waterville and Winslow would hire their own superintendent and Vassalboro would hire a part-time superintendent.

The plan that is being sent to the state commissioner’s office outlines how the three communities would separate themselves from the AOS in terms of shared responsibilities including school board powers, personnel contracts, disposition of existing school funds and dispute resolution.

The plan says that upon approval, Waterville and Winslow would hire their own superintendents and Vassalboro would hire a part-time superintendent or contract with another of the school departments for those services. The three communities now share one school superintendent, Eric Haley.

If the communities are successful in forming a regional service center after the AOS is dissolved, they would continue sharing certain central office duties and other school functions.

The school board in each community also would assume responsibility for duties previously assigned to the AOS board, in accordance with the interlocal agreement.

The plan deals with employees who have individual contracts with the AOS rather than any individual school unit. The school boards would have to consult with one another to determine which employees of AOS 92 would be employed by each school unit if the AOS dissolves. The plan says that although employees of the AOS whose contracts don’t extend beyond the dissolution are not entitled to employment by any school unit, it is a goal of the communities that the employees be offered a position by at least one of the school units.

The contents of the AOS’ undesignated fund would have to be divided among the communities if the district is terminated. The plan says that after payment of all the district’s financial obligations, the funds must be distributed among the school units according to an allocation formula, which calculates 50 percent on the basis of the average state valuation of property of the school units for the three most recent calendar years, and 50 percent on the basis of the average student population of the school units as measured on April 1 and October 1 of the three most recent calendar years. The distribution of that money should be completed within 60 days of the final audit of AOS 92 for the 2017-2018 fiscal year, according to the plan. The AOS dissolution would take effect June 30.

In other matters Tuesday, councilors voted 7-0 to re-elect Steve Soule, D-Ward 1, council chairman. Mayor Nick Isgro and councilors Nathaniel White, D-Ward 2, Sydney Mayhew, R-Ward 4, and Winifred Tate, D-Ward 6, were administered the oath of office. The council also appointed residents to various boards and committees.

The council took final votes to amend zoning of 94 Silver St. to allow New Dimensions Federal Credit Union to build a branch there, and to accept a $50,000 donation from Waterville Development Corp. for a riverwalk at Head of Falls.

Isgro proclaimed Jan. 21-27 Waterville School Choice Week.

Randy Marshall, manager of the city-owned Robert LaFleur Municipal Airport, updated the council on the facility, saying the airport is landing more planes, charging more per airplane and uploading more fuel than previously.

He said that in 2011 the airport received about $220,000 in revenue and in 2017 it received about the same amount, but the airport is doing better because it is keeping more of the $220,000. The cost of jet fuel, he said, has decreased by $1.15 a gallon since 2011, but the profit margin has increased.

“We’re selling more gallons for less and we’re keeping more of it,” he said.

A blood drive will be held 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. March 28 in the “healing hangar” at the airport. Donors may sign up to give blood by going to redcross.org, according to Marshall. Walk-ins also will be welcome, he said.

Amy Calder — 861-9247

[email protected]

Twitter: @AmyCalder17


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