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