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Budget Committee

Minutes - April 27, 2016 (Draft, subject to correction)

Present: Robin Veysey, Connie Bender, Merle Bragdon

Members of the Public: Lamoine School Committee members V. Peacock, R. Pulver, M. Brann, G. Donaldson, B. Jones; Superintendent of Schools Katrina Kane; Principal/Curriculum Director D. McPhail; Special Education Administrator A. Rabasca.

W. Whitener

Chair R. Veysey called the meeting to order at 6:34 p.m.

The Committee could not approve the minutes of the previous meeting, for lack of a majority of members who had attended that meeting. 

As the purpose of the meeting is to review the town’s Education Budget for 2016-17, Robin asked Superintendent Kane to present an overview of the budget.  She did so with the assistance of the principal/curriculum director and the special education administrator.  The team pointed out increases and decreases from the current year’s budget to the proposed budget and invited questions and comments from the Budget Committee.  Attached to these minutes is the proposed budget; pages 1-3 cover the summary shared in the presentation.

There were no extensive discussions about any accounts.  Among the points raised were:  

         Does this budget have adequate funds for teaching resources so that teachers will not need to purchase such materials from their own funds?  The administration assured the committee that it does.

         Has the school department considered using Ipads (relating to a plan to purchase Chromebooks).  D. McPhail reported that Ipads are used by grades 7 and 8.

         An explanation of the new Life Skills program serving children with more challenging special needs.  The program accepts students from other districts, helping to defray costs.

         The possibility of establishing a “restricted reserve” account to hold funds that might become necessary due to out-of-district placement of students with needs that LCS or the high schools cannot meet.

         The status of upgrades to the library.  Most of these are complete.

         Enrollment is growing.  Kindergarten and the list of incoming Kindergartners for next year are at 17 students as compared to 10-12 from a few years ago. 

         Superintendent Kane announced that the school committee and staff will be developing a strategic plan to guide development and spending for the next five-year period.

         The school department is sharing costs and personnel with Hancock and Lamoine in a number of areas; collaborations with Otis, Surry, and RSU 24 are also helping to bring high-quality teachers and services to our school. 

Superintendent Kane concluded by highlighting these “bottom lines”:

         Total expenditure increase from this year to next:  $106,610  (4.41% overall increase)

         Amount of this increase the Town is asked to fund: $43,017  (1.99% increase to Town)

         The school department is again applying $150,000 from Balance Forward to offset some of the overall increase but is not planning to do that “going forward”.

Merle praised the work of the school department and school committee, noting that this was a “great job” for “the second year in a row”.  Robin agreed.

Merle moved (seconded by Connie) that the Budget Committee recommend approval of an Expenditure Budget of $2,523,481.91 to be included on the Town Warrant on May 24, 2016.   Approved 3-0.

Merle moved (seconded by Connie) that the Budget Committee recommend approval of a Revenue Budget of $317,213.75 to be included on the Town Warrant on May 24, 2016.   Approved 3-0.

Adjourned at 7:28 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Gordon Donaldson, member of the Lamoine School Committee and volunteer secretary for this meeting.