Consolidation plan appears to pass in SADs 70, 14

Posted Feb. 01, 2011, at 10:09 p.m.

HODGDON, Maine — It appears that residents of SAD 70 and SAD 14 have approved a consolidation plan.

Officials still were waiting for the results from the towns of Haynesville and Bancroft late Tuesday afternoon, but representatives for both districts said that it appears the proposal passed by a wide margin.

SAD 70 is made up of the towns of Hodgdon, Amity, Cary Plantation, Haynesville, Linneus, Ludlow and New Limerick.

SAD 14 serves Danforth and Weston and students from Orient and Bancroft.

The two districts will merge to form an alternative organizational structure. The state Department of Education signed off on the plan two months ago.

The reorganization plan will unite central offices in SAD 70 and SAD 14, as well as the towns of Orient and Bancroft.

Under the plan, each district will keep a separate school board and have control over all aspects of their schools. At the same time, an AOS board will be created to govern the combined districts. It will be made up of members from each area.

School officials said that both districts would maintain superintendents until their existing contracts expire. After that, only one superintendent will be hired to oversee both districts.

A public referendum vote took place on Monday in each of the school districts.

Before this vote, neither district had much luck getting voters to accept consolidation plans.

In 2008, both districts started the process to form a Regional School Unit with SAD 29 in Houlton, SAD 25 in Stacyville and Community School District 9 in Dyer Brook. The plan failed at the polls.

The two districts then began discussions to form an AOS with CSD 9 and SAD 25. That plan also failed.

SAD 70 then talked extensively with SAD 29 about merging, but leaders in SAD 29 pulled out of the plan last year after approximately one year of negotiations.

By not consolidating, SAD 14 was penalized $23,000 in its current fiscal budget.

SAD 70 was penalized $93,000 for not complying with the state’s consolidation edict.

jlynds@bangordailynews.com

538-6567

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