The RSU 9 board of directors voted unanimously on Tuesday, Nov, 14, to accept the outcome of the referendum that took place on Nov. 7. Brian Ponce/Franklin Journal

FARMINGTON — The Regional School Unit 9 board of directors voted unanimously on Tuesday, Nov. 14, to accept computation and declaration of votes on a referendum that was voted on the previous Tuesday. The referendum was in regards to the district’s lease/purchase agreement for the Holman Mission House, located at 227 Main Street in Farmington.

The outcome of the vote was in RSU 9’s favor, with the ten towns the district represents [Chesterville, Farmington, Industry, New Sharon, New Vineyard, Starks, Temple, Vienna, Weld and Wilton] voting to allow the purchase of the Holman Mission House for district purposes.

Out of a grand total of 5,433 votes, 3,621 voted to allow the district to purchase the property with 1,780 voting against the purchase and 32 leaving their ballot blank. If the vote had failed, the district would have leased the property for a duration of 48 months.

“We feel very fortunate with the amount of support the idea received from the voters as we feel it supports student needs and that it is the most financially sound opportunity we have,” Superintendent Christian Elkington stated in an email. “A win-win.”

The Holman Mission House at 227 Main St. in Farmington will be purchased by the Regional School Unit 9 administration for its operations. Voters approved the purchase Tuesday, Nov. 7, by a vote of 3,621 to 1,780. Franklin Journal File Photo

RSU 9 plans on using the location for district operations, freeing up the space currently occupied at Mt. Blue high school to use as a resource for students. The district will use Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief [ESSER] funds to fund the purchase of the property and finance any repairs to the building, which include roof repair, asbestos removal and electrical upgrades as the most significant needs for the building.

In other business, Elkington shared in his superintendent’s report that his review funding shows $36,000 more dollars to invest on multilingual education.


“This could not have come at a better time for us as we have had a family move to Farmington who needs increased support,” he stated in the report. “These funds will help pay for the support staff member we will need to hire.”

According to Elkington, the State of Maine will adjust its funding based on the needs to student population once school is in session in October. “Our teacher is fully packed,” he shared, “and we’re probably going to need more support next year for students speaking other languages, and so that’s something that will be a piece of the budget.”

Elkington also added that, despite the effort to create a comprehensive plan to assist Lewiston Schools if more support was needed for their students and staff, Lewiston was overwhelmed with offers and their staff was not needed.

“I do want to thank the counselors and the social workers who put a really good plan together,” Elkington stated. “It wasn’t I needed but they put an excellent plan together to support Lewiston if they so chose.”

RSU 9 will keep the plan as a template and will be at the ready if other needs arise.

Kathryn Clement, a nurse at W. G. Mallett School, received her National School Nurse Board Certification, increasing the number of nurses who have the certification in the district to two.


Elkington reported a potential shortage of milk cartons in the district as Director of School Nutrition Andrew Hutchins shared the primary distributor is out of chocolate milk cartons. “[This will] put pressure on white cartons in the coming days,” he shared in the report.

“Other distributors are not taking any new business in that category as they are also trying to take care of their regular customers,” he added

If they do not receive any additional chocolate milk on the Thursday or Monday delivery days, the district will push juice cartons to compensate.

“So long as the white cartons hold out, we won’t be in a situation where we have to pour into cups,” he said. “We are not planning to send anything out to parents unless we have to make an adjustment.”

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