Wiscasset School Department

School panel reaches ‘seller’ of a budget: no tax increase

Posted:  Thursday, April 20, 2017 - 7:30pm
Clockwise from lower left, Wiscasset School Committee member Chelsea Taylor, Superintendent of Schools Heather Wilmot, Vice Chairman Glen Craig, Chairman Michael Dunn and members Eugene Stover and Jason Putnam meet at the central office April 20. SUSAN JOHNS/Wiscasset Newspaper

In two hours Thursday night, the Wiscasset School Committee pared a would-be 1.36 percent hike for taxpayers down to nothing. Members could take no formal votes in the workshop session at the central office on Gardiner Road, but reached a majority consensus to put about $33,000 less in contingency than first eyed; and — in light of the loss of prospective Alna and Westport Island pre-kindergartners to Edgecomb — cut $49,735 that would have funded a second pre-K teacher.

The panel discussed cutting some or all of the $18,000 planned to help prepare Wiscasset Middle High School for sixth graders’ move there in 2018-19, but kept that funding intact, and kept in $69,500 to put toward the proposed $1.75 million energy project. Member Glen Craig disagreed with the majority in some areas. He argued money could be sought later or taken from contingency.

Member Eugene Stover described the zero-increase budget offer as a seller to voters. The committee votes on the offer April 27, ahead of a tentative May 15 special town meeting and a final vote at the polls June 13.

Look for a full story on tonight’s talks in Friday’s Morning Catch email.