Mattawamkeag to vote on school’s fate

Posted July 24, 2009, at 11:09 p.m.
Last modified Jan. 30, 2011, at 12:15 p.m.

MATTAWAMKEAG, Maine — Voters will decide what happens to the former Dr. Carl Troutt School and settle on a proposed town budget when they meet Monday for the annual town meeting.

Ballot documents show voters will be asked whether to buy the elementary school building from RSU 67 for $1 and whether to appropriate $15,000 annually for the building’s maintenance.

On May 19, 114 residents voted no to whether they would want to keep Troutt open for another $367,163 annually from the town’s coffers as a school and part of the regional school unit, which serves Mattawamkeag, Chester and Lincoln. Sixty-five voted yes.

That election ratified a 7-1 vote with one abstention by the former SAD 67 board of directors on Jan. 21 to close the elementary school for the 2009-10 year. The board cited an expected state funding shortfall and increasing costs associated with the school’s maintenance.

Troutt is one of the oldest, least-populated and most expensive school buildings to maintain in RSU 67. The school had 49 students, while the Ella P. Burr School of Lincoln, the district’s other elementary school, served 392.

Mattanawcook Junior High School had 367 students and Mattanawcook Academy had 448 during the 2008-09 school year, according to school statistics. The latter two schools are in Lincoln.

If residents approve buying the building, the Board of Selectmen will decide how it should be used. If not, it would revert to the school system or the state.

Bion Tolman, chairman of the Board of Selectmen, and Selectman Joey J. Grant could not be reached for comment on Friday.

The board has proposed a budget of about $527,800 for the 2009-10 fiscal year, which begins July 1. That budget is about $17,500 over this year’s.

The meeting will be held at the town office at 7 p.m. All town residents are invited to attend.

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