Town of Lamoine, Maine
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Education Planning Committee
Minutes of August 25, 2013 (Draft, subject to correction)
Present: Perry Fowler, Nate Mason, Jon VanAmringe, Robin Veysey. Bob Pulver was delayed and arrived later.
Meeting called to order by Mr. Fowler at 4:20 PM.
Consideration of Minutes: Mr. Mason moved to accept minutes as written; Mr. Van Amringe seconded the motion. Vote 4-0 to approve.
Agenda is same as previous meeting.
Mr. Fowler asked whether we had a number that indicates exactly what exit costs will be.
Mr. Van Amringe distributed figures to committee beginning with his summary and notes of all the meetings he had with Mr. Donaldson along with a compilation of Mr. Donaldson's numbers. They reviewed his figures and discussed his logic and Mr. Van Amringe indicated he did not disagree with any of his reasoning. Mr. Van Amringe then described the composition of the net withdrawal costs. The most significant portion is the five years of Lamoine debt service paid by the RSU and any purchases of assets made by the RSU in excess of $2500 for Lamoine. These numbers are offset by debt service and assets paid for other schools by the RSU multiplied by our 8.12% portion. Also included is salaries under contract of the superintendent. This amount, $145,087.00, would have to be paid on the date of withdrawal – 7/1/14. Our 8.12% share of fund balance (surplus) – currently $2.45 million x 8.12% = $198,940.00 – would be paid to Lamoine on 1/31/15 after the 13-14 year had been audited. This would bring the net withdrawal cost to ($53,853.00). Mr. Van Amringe suggested the possibility of financing the $145,087.00 and paying it off six months later when Lamoine's share of the surplus would be distributed. There was a discussion of these amounts. Mr. Van Amringe said he would have the detailed breakdown of the amounts included in the $145,087.00 for our next meeting.
Moving on to projected costs for Lamoine as a stand-alone Mr. Mason commented that he and Mr. Van Amringe had done the same thing and had come up with almost exactly the same number. Mr. Van Amringe then described the procedure and make-up of the projected figures. There followed a discussion of these numbers and the number of students expected in the coming year.
The other question Mr. Van Amringe was asked to explore was if Lamoine remained in the RSU and other schools (Ellsworth and/or Hancock) leave. Our share of the overhead would increase substantially. There followed a discussion of the allocation of expenditures and the formula being used now and when the formula is changed in 2015 as well as the additional costs that would become Lamoine's responsibility. Mr. Mason indicated we would need Ellsworth's cost to operate as well as their contribution to the RSU budget in order to compute our increased cost. Then followed a discussion of the administration's reluctance to cut costs within the superintendent's office. The costs that have been cut have been within the schools by reducing programs and teachers.
There was then a discussion of the capacity of the various high schools as well as changes in population and availability of affordable housing.
Mr. Van Amringe will provide detail to go with the summary of exit costs for our next meeting .
There was a discussion of the figures we have for projected costs for Lamoine as a stand-alone.
Mr. Fowler indicated what we need to focus on now are costs if Ellsworth and/or Hancock leave the RSU and Lamoine remains. Mr. Mason indicated we needed to know Ellsworth's cost to operate. Mr. Fowler indicated he could obtain those historical figures. Mr. Mason said we could use those to compare. Then we could ask Mr. Jones to come in to explain the formula to us. Mr. Fowler said if Ellsworth withdrew the costs to Lamoine would increase not just by 50-100 thousand but would be much higher.
Then followed discussion of reasons Trenton's budget is so high compared to the other schools we have looked at.
For next meeting – will ask Mr. Jones to attend. Will need summary/outline of what needs to be included in the report.
Followed a discussion of when report will need to be available for select board and scheduling of public hearing, etc.
Next meeting will be Sunday, September 15, 2013 at 4:00 PM.
Motion to adjourn by Mr. Pulver; second by Mr. Mason. Vote 5-0
Adjourned at 5:45 PM.