June 23, 2018
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Bucksport consolidation OK’d, Blue Hill fails

By Rich Hewitt, BDN Staff

BUCKSPORT, Maine — Voters in two Hancock County regions voted differently in balloting on school reorganization plans Tuesday.

Voters in the Bucksport area overwhelmingly supported a regional school unit plan, while voters in the peninsula area, in a split vote among towns, rejected an alternate organizational structure proposal.

The vote in the Bucksport area will establish an RSU composed of the schools in Bucksport, Orland and the SAD 18 towns of Prospect and Verona Island. All four towns approved the plan by better than 4-to-1 ratios. Results in each town were Bucksport, 226-54; Orland, 191-69; Prospect, 36-7; and Verona Island, 27-5.

The Island-Peninsula AOS proposal would have united school administrations from Union 93 (Blue Hill, Castine, Brooksville and Penobscot), Union 76 (Deer Isle, Stonington, Brooklin and Sedgwick) and Surry. With tallies from all towns except Stonington available Tuesday night, the plan was defeated. Voters in just two towns, Castine and Surry, approved the plan, but they were overruled by voters in the other communities.

The vote in Castine was 73 yes, 36 no; in Surry, 70 yes, 29 no.

The communities that rejected the plan were Blue Hill, 353-46; Brooksville, 116-15; Penobscot, 86-54; Brooklin, 90-15; Sedgwick, 76-15; Deer Isle, 109-81.

The consolidation law required a minimum 1,200-student enrollment in most of the new districts. The no votes came in the two largest school districts, Blue Hill and the Deer Isle-Stonington CSD, where a rejection of the plan in either district would have killed the proposal. None of the remaining towns have a combined student enrollment that reaches the 1,200 minimum.

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