JAY — Regional School Unit 73 voters will consider funding for school resource officer in a separate budget article.

Acting Superintendent Scott Albert said some voters may not want to support funding for the officer so it will be a separate article in the school budget warrant.

“We don’t want people voting down the budget if they don’t want the school resource officer,” he told directors at Tuesday night’s meeting.

The proposed district budget of $19.59 million is $786,399 more than this fiscal year, which ends June 30.

The sum of $50,000 is being requested for a school resource officer to cover Spruce Mountain High and Middle schools.

The district would contract with Jay, with each party paying $50,000 toward the salary. The officer would work 39 weeks for the district and 13 weeks for the town.

In other matters, Facilities and Transportation Director Ken Vining said he requested one bus and a pickup truck with a plow.

“We could perhaps save some money if we did some things ourselves,” Vining said. He said the plowing contract went from $90,000 to $95,000 last year.

“It keeps going up,” he said.

A sander could be put on the pickup truck, Vining said.

Plowing costs are not the only increases.

Heating oil for the primary school is up $14,100 this year, he said, because not enough was budgeted for 2018-19.

And water and sewer expenses at the elementary school increased $13,100 due to a major leak.

“We’re trying to get some of that knocked off. Next year it should go down,” Vining said.

At the high school, $90,214 was added for the Naviance program and college courses.

Principal TJ Plourde said about 26 college courses are offered online or at the University of Maine at Farmington at a very low cost per course.

“Mark Holt’s daughter saved $42,000. She is the youngest student ever to enroll in the Maine School of Law,” Plourde said.

Under technology, decreases of almost $181,000 will be seen from the switch to Chromebook computers.  A staff position and leasing will be eliminated. An increase of almost $84,000 comes from moving items from other lines, Chromebook purchases and replacement/upgrade of servers.

Spruce Mountain Adult Education Director Robyn Raymond said enrollment increased from 51 in fiscal year 2014-15 to 101 in 2017-18. There are 82 programs offered.

“We are now the 16th largest adult education program in the state,” Raymond said.

She is proposing $17,546 to increase course offerings tied directly to local employment, $21,981 plus benefits for a new position to assist with the increasing enrollment and $12,715 for a 2 percent pay raise for staff.

Raymond also suggested turning the Cedar Street board conference room into a community cafe where students could learn. Also suggested was using the automotive room at the high school for adult evening classes and Foster Career and Technical Education Center classes.

Plourde said the automotive space is being used as a multi-purpose room.

The board recently approved holding its meetings in larger spaces and in different district buildings. Acting board Chairman Michael Morrell said the board would need to have a dedicated space for meetings.


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