What People are Reading
- What a very sad and shocking
2 years 1 day ago
- Smart Meters
2 years 3 weeks ago
- 100 year old house burns
2 years 3 weeks ago
- Column 2-10 re Treason
2 years 12 weeks ago
- Radical Difference
2 years 13 weeks ago
- This activity is such a
2 years 21 weeks ago
- Okay Great we got a sign!
2 years 21 weeks ago
- Hate Crime a Sad Moment Indeed
2 years 23 weeks ago
More in News
Woodstock Elementary School faces possible closure
WOODSTOCK – Marcel Polak, SAD 44 Board member, approached Woodstock selectmen about holding a public meeting, in the near future, to discuss the monetary ramifications of closing Woodstock Elementary School.
Citing an ongoing situation with a significant shortfall in state education monies to the district, Polak expressed a desire for input from Woodstock voters should closing the school appear on the school board's agenda.
Currently the school board members are working with the state to find out the cost of both keeping the school open and closing it. Also under discussion is Andover Elementary School, according to Polak.
Once the numbers are known, they will be forwarded to the Woodstock Board of Selectmen and the SAD 44 school board for a 10-day review period. Then the Board could vote to close the schools. If this happens, the Town of Woodstock may elect to raise the money on its own to keep the school open.
Although students from Milton and Greenwood attend WES, only Woodstock gets to vote as the school is located in Woodstock.
Polak said the school board would like a meeting with voters in order to obtain input to help in their decision making process. He told selectmen that school board budget meetings are well attended, but it is "usually lots of parents showing up."
Polak emphasized that there is no data yet, but "it could happen by later January or early February." He also noted it is not clear which way the Board would vote.
Selectman Bruce Korhonen queried whether SAD administrative costs are percentage points higher than other districts of the same size. Polak said those salaries and any raises were approved last week.
Polak said the board had worked hard to find ways to cut the budget. In referance to potential savings in closing the schools, he agreed there are also increased costs. The school board is looking for the net costs. Korhonen commented "and the State is figuring this out for us?"
Polak ended by stating that "Woodstock is a great school and it servs the kids and the community well."
Appearing as a member of the Woodstock Conservation Commission, Polak then apprised the selectmen of the status of the proposed Open Space plan.
Polak said the ConCom has been working on this based on the town's Comprehensive Plan, using maps provided by the Androscoggin Valley Council of Governments (AVCOG) and the Maine division of Inland Fish and Wildlife.
The goal is to show economic and other benefits to come in having open spaces in the town. He said the ConCom will only be making recommendations, and not creating any ordinances.
The plan will be based on a series of overlaying maps, showing areas of trails, scenic views, habitat, deer yards, endangered species, riparian and other criteria.
The maps should be available for public viewing by the ConCom meeting on January 11, 2011, at the town offices, and the public is welcome. By February 8, the final draft should be ready.
Polak hopes for a final public meeting on March 8, and to have the proposal on the warrant for the annual Town Meeting in March.
Town Manager Vern Maxfield agreed to post the information and advertise the meetings.
The massive rainstorm of December 13 washed out sections of the Concord Pond Road. Damage has cost the town more than $9,000 so far to repair. This will result in an overdraft in the roads account. Preliminary discussions are in the offing as to a more permanent fix to this road.
Last Friday the Fire Department took delivery of a new-to-Woodstock laddertruck. On Saturday it was used in extinguishing a chimney fire on a two story house. Firefighters found it much easier than climbing onto the roof with ladders while carrying chains and hoses.
The truck was first bought by Lisbon, then by Dixfield and now Woodstock. It cost $2,100. Selectmen say the engine alone is worth more than that.
Maxfield reported that things are running so well at the G & W transfer station that he "doesn't even hear about it." The budget is running below last year's.
The one problem is the decling condition of the front loader/backhoe which is "pretty tired" in the words of Selectman Rick Young. Various replacement options were discussed.
Maxfield reported three tax forclosures by the town. He said one of these was sold but tax liability, now due from the new owners, was not handled at the closing.
MAxfield added that "current outstanding taxes are almost dollar for dollar as last year."
A very preliminary budget was given to selectmen. Maxfield said he "bumped up the school and the county and took out the loader payment" from last year's budget.
The only other big items are a replacement of the 11-year-old plow truck and needed repair of the dam at the outlet of Lake Christopher.