Mattawamkeag OKs school purchase

Posted July 28, 2009, at 9:24 p.m.
Last modified Jan. 30, 2011, at 12:15 p.m.

MATTAWAMKEAG, Maine — The town will buy the former Dr. Carl Troutt School for $1 from RSU 67 and run municipal government on a $527,800 budget for the 2009-10 fiscal year, residents decided at a town meeting on Monday.

The budget represents an increase of about $17,500. All of the 59 articles passed by overwhelming majorities of the 40 people who attended the meeting at the town office, Town Clerk Corris Richards said Tuesday.

That included the re-election of Selectman Joey Grant to another three-year term. The incumbent Grant polled 47 votes during the daylong election to Kathleen Verduga’s 26 votes, Edgar Lynch’s 20 votes and Carl Spencer Jr.’s six votes, Richards said.

Exactly what the town will do with the old school remains uncertain, said Bion Tolman, chairman of the Board of Selectmen.

“We don’t have a definite plan for it. Probably for the short term we will try to winterize the school itself,” Tolman said Tuesday. “We will probably do something about heat for the gym so we could utilize the area for the winter. We are getting into August and winter will be here in no time.”

As part of the vote, residents agreed to appropriate $15,000 annually for the building’s maintenance.

Troutt was one of the oldest, least-populated and most expensive school buildings to maintain in what is now RSU 67. The facility had 49 students during the 2008-2009 school year, while the Ella P. Burr School of Lincoln, the district’s other elementary school, served 392, school officials have said.

On May 19, 114 residents voted no on the question of whether they wanted to keep Troutt open for another year. Doing so would have cost the town $367,163. Sixty-five people voted yes.

RSU 67 serves Mattawamkeag, Chester and Lincoln.

The May 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.

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