Before going to the polls to vote Tuesday, residents in Regional School Unit 38 need to know a few things. While serving as state economist years ago, I worked on these same issues of infrastructure replacements and financing, including the school construction program.

1. If you want to spend more money, vote this down. Next year, you’ll probably spend up to $290,000 more, and will likely pay a higher interest rate on the bonds.

2. Roof, boiler and septic replacements must be done in the summer. These do not sound like frills to me. Since final engineering and design, and contractor selection cannot begin without a bond authorization, votes at town meetings would not allow construction this summer.

3. Voting down the bond guarantees operating the schools for another winter with substandard facilities, possibly incurring repairs that would be unnecessary if the projects could be completed this summer. Would you repair the engine in a car with 150,000 miles on it?

4. With the aid of professional engineers, these projects were screened down from a much larger list.

5. Students at Maranacook Community School are often wearing jackets in classrooms during the coldest winter days.

6. New boilers will save fuel consumption and save money.

Clearly this bond is being brought to the voters in a rush, and many voters are perturbed. Many feel that the board has fumbled the job of informing voters in explaining the need and the reasons for a January vote. Many Mainers dislike being presented with a package in an all-or-nothing, up-or-down vote. For myself, though, I am prepared to put these concerns aside and vote for properly maintaining our schools.

While I am a selectboard member in Wayne, I write today as a citizen with relevant professional experience and do not speak for Wayne’s town government. Also, my wife taught for years at Maranacook.

Lloyd C. Irland


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