Chairman Henry Ashmore called the meeting to order at 7:00 PM at the Lamoine
Present were: Budget Committee members Robin Veysey, Henry Ashmore, Joe Young,
Reggie McDevitt; School Committee members Bonnie Marckoon, Faith Perkins, Linda
Haft, Tammy Dickey, Union 92 Business Manager David Bridgham, Union 92 Superintendent
William Fowler, Principal Val Perkins, Adm. Asst. Stu Marckoon (arrived 7:15
PM) and member of the public Franco Colella (Arrived 7:30 PM).
Minutes – Joe moved to accept the minutes of December
13, 2004 as presented. Reggie 2nd. Vote in favor was 4-0.
Education Budget – The Superintendent briefed the committee
regarding an unfavorable ruling in a legal case. The will result in a reduction
of the balance forward, and instead of a 3% increase in local appropriation
for education, the amount will increase by 9.1%, a worst case scenario. The
Superintendent and business manager said there is no firm idea on what the town
would receive under the new EPS funding formula.
The budget committee reviewed the education budget section by section.
- Transportation – Mr. Bridgham said this is the 3rd year of a 5-year
contract. Mr. Fowler said the next bid would be three towns at once.
- Instruction – Mr. Fowler said that fell $15,000. Henry asked why the
salary line is down. Mr. Fowler said a high salary teacher was replaced. Henry
asked about phys ed. Mr. Perkins said it’s a ½ time position
now and would move to full time with the phys ed teacher teaching the health
curriculum. Ms. Perkins said that health time budgeted under the nurse was
moved to phys ed.
- Guidance – Mr. Bridgham said they’ve been unable to fill the
- Health – Henry asked how much nursing is done on site. Ms. Perkins
said 2-days equivalent. Mr. Fowler said it depends on how the nursing services
are split among the Union schools. Discussion followed on the nurse’s
salary ($34,331 shared among schools). It was noted the nurse was reduced
by ½ day per week.
- Staff Support & Improvement of Instruction – There were no questions
- Library – It was noted the library is staffed by an Ed Tech position
(board member Robin Veysey) three days per week. Mr. Perkins said there is
$2,000 less for books as they’ve bought quality books the last few years.
It was noted the 2nd grade goes to the Ellsworth Public Library once a week.
- Principal’s Office – It was noted there is one secretary for
- Operations & Maintenance – Joe asked what equipment was purchased
this year. Mr. Bridgham said a floor burnisher, divider curtains, carpets
and lunch tables. Joe asked if there were any goals for the $2,000 budgeted.
Mr. Bridgham said new mats for the gym wall. Henry said the amount budgeted
for the ballfield of $6,450 is a lot of money to grow and mow grass. Discussion
followed. It was noted there are 1.5 custodians. Henry asked if the ballfield
would be affected should the school decide to upgrade or build at its present
location. Mr. Perkins said it would depend on the design. He said the school
has applied to the state for a project, but there is no design yet.
- Portable Classroom – Stu asked if this was the last year of the lease
arrangement. Mr. Bridgham said no, the lease expires in 2008, but there is
a very small subsidy coming back from the state. Budget Committee members
discussed removing the line as it makes the school budget look inflated. Stu
noted that removal would also remove over $28,000 in non-education revenues.
- Revenues – Henry asked about the EPS funding model, and asked if Medicaid
and Local Entitlement are built into the subsidy figures. Mr. Fowler said
that part which is used for staffing would be, but Lamoine doesn’t use
those funds for staff. Henry asked how much is received. Mr. Bridgham said
the school union gets $174,000.
- Secondary Tuition – Henry asked if the figure is kind of a guess.
Mr. Bridgham said they don’t know next year’s rate, but they’ve
budgeted a 6-percent increase. Henry said they don’t know how the tuition
will be figured under EPS. Joe asked about the number of students. Mr. Bridgham
said they’ve budgeted for an increase of 3 students for next year, but
there will be diminishing numbers for the next 5-to-6 years. Henry asked how
many classroom teachers are employed at the Lamoine School. Mr. Perkins said
9, one for each grade. Joe asked about the insured value factor. Mr. Bridgham
said private schools and MDI High are allowed to charge 10-percent above the
tuition rate to cover the cost of bonding buildings.
- Special Education Elementary – Henry asked Mr. Perkins to describe
the program. Mr. Perkins said they have 1 full time special education teacher
and 6-aides. Henry asked how many aides are 1-on-1. Mr. Perkins said 5 are,
and the other is in the resource room. He said one aide has two students.
A short discussion followed on staffing for special education. Mr. Bridgham
said one student who attends Bangor Christian School requires OT/PT and speech.
Joe asked about the increase in health insurance. Mr. Bridgham said the package
for aids is increasing from $2,000 to $3,000 per person. He said the School
Union is trying to have the same package for all schools to keep from competing
against each other for help. Henry asked about the tuition line. Mrs. Dickey
said it’s for a child at a school in New Hampshire. Mr. Bridgham said
students attend special education classes at MDI High, KidsPeace, in New Hampshire
and at Ellsworth High. He said the high schools impose a surcharge for special
- Extra Curricular – There were no questions.
- Food Service – There was a very brief discussion about hot lunch prices.
- General Discussion – Mr. Perkins said much of the budget remains unsettled
in the Legislature. Henry said the committee is only looking at the expenditure
portion of the budget. Mr. Fowler said the school department could only control
that 1-percent increase. Mr. Bridgham said there would be a better idea of
the impact when he writes the warrant articles.
Ambulance – Joe asked if County Ambulance met with the
Selectmen. Stu said they had. Henry said he watched the presentation on TV.
He said in terms of what he heard, the amount requested was to help keep County
Ambulance solvent. He said the payment guarantees an ambulance will be available
to answer a call in Lamoine. He said the proposed amount is a 20-percent increase,
or $1,495. A short discussion followed on the history of paying the ambulance
contract and the services provided. Henry said on the table is a public safety
budget of $44,722.75. Joe moved to tentatively approve that amount. Robin 2nd.
Vote in favor was 3-1 (McDevitt opposed).
Fire Truck Reserve – Henry noted that nothing was proposed.
Stu said the reserve amount has been shifted to the debt payment.
Cable TV Budget – Henry explained that the town receives
about $5,000.00 as a franchise fee from Adelphia, and the Cable TV Committee
felt that ought to be built into the budget. He said the fees in the last few
years accumulated to about $12,000, which was used to purchase equipment for
broadcast. Reggie moved to tentatively approve the Cable TV Budget at $5,000.
Joe 2nd. Vote in favor was 4-0.
Revenue Budget – Henry asked where the surplus level
stands. Stu said with the current year appropriation subtracted from the level
at the end of FY 2004 it’s around $295,000. Discussion of whether appropriating
$50,000 was appropriate followed, as well as the bottom line. Joe moved to give
tentative approval to the revenue budget as presented. Robin 2nd. Vote
in favor was 4-0.
Education Budget – Franco Colella gave a brief presentation
to the Budget Committee. He said the student population has fallen for 8-years,
but costs are up. He said the proposed budget adds benefits at greater than
the cost of inflation. He asked if there were goals for the principal to meet
and if those are measured. He asked about scores from the 8th grade MEA tests.
He said Lamoine appeared to be above average on math, but below on other subjects.
He asked if the assessments meant anything. He said he was unsure of the political
connections on how the budget is formulated and found the increases questionable.
He asked how minutes of the school committee are taken, and said the last minutes
are not posted on line.
Henry explained the teacher contract, how assessment tests work, and about
the Ed tech (aides) benefits. There was a brief discussion about the cost-per-student
figures. Mr. Colella presented some charts to the Budget Committee.
Joe moved to give tentative approval to the education budget as presented at
$2,120,839.83. Robin 2nd. Vote in favor was 3-0 (McDevitt abstained).
Next Meeting – The Committee opted to meet on Monday,
January 17, 2005 at 7:00 PM to finalize the budget and forego the January
There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 9:20 PM
Stu Marckoon, Adm. Asst.