3 Aggregate Road, Poland, ME 04274
Phone 207.998.2727 | Fax 207.998.2753

24-25 Budget Documents

RSU 16 Budget Vote Information - 5/21/24 @ 6:30pm

May 21, 2024

May 21 District Budget Meeting: 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8O21u4DX4dQ

May 21 Informational Meeting on the School Revolving Renovation Fund (SRRF)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YRhyDlrDcs4&t=2s

May 19, 2024

Dear RSU 16 Staff, Students, Families and Community Members,

We invite you to participate in the District Budget Meeting, a crucial step in the budget process for RSU 16. After careful consideration, the District Budget Committee unanimously recommended the proposed budget, which has now been adopted by the RSU 16 School Board. Your participation holds significant value in this two-step process, where registered voters will convene at the PRHS/WMS auditorium on Tuesday, May 21 at 6:30PM to discuss and vote on the school budget to move it forward to the referendum vote on June 11. Your input is invaluable as we work together to ensure the best outcomes for our educational community.

What happens at the District Budget Meeting?

  • Upon arrival at the PRHS/WMS auditorium, registered voters will check-in with their town clerk to receive a voting slip of paper.
  • A moderator will be selected and sworn in.
  • The Superintendent and Business Manager give an overview of the Fiscal Year (FY) 2025 budget.
  • Vote (by holding up that slip of paper) to authorize expenditures in each of the following cost center categories: Regular Instruction, Special Education, Other Instruction, Student & Staff Support, System Administration, School Administration, Transportation, Facilities Maintenance, Total Debt Service, All Other Expenditures.  There are opportunities for questions or discussion before every vote.
  • A recorded vote (this means votes are counted) is taken to: Raise Funds for the Proposed Budget.
  • Vote (by holding up that slip of paper): Authorize the Adult Education Program and approve the local share, Raise and authorize expenditures for Capital Improvement Fund, Authorize expenditures of grants and other receipts.

Proposed Budget

  • Current budget: $29,288,779.00
  • 6.9% from FY24 to FY25 
  • Contractual salary and benefit increase: $1,170,120 
  • Increase the Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) to $600,000. Increase is $400,000.
  • Tax impact based upon a $100,000 home: Poland: $248, Minot: $171, Mechanic Falls: $202

Why such a tax impact?

  • State subsidy decreased by $751,000
  • Municipal Valuations increased by $140 million (this means the State says the towns can pay more)
  • The local revenue or amount the State says our towns can pay increased 25% from FY24 to FY25, from $12 million to $15 million.

What about Elementary HVAC Projects?

This budget has NO Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) funding in it. The HVAC projects are separate from the Capital Improvement Projects (CIP). It is important that the difference between the two is understood. The RSU 16 School Board has decided to use a Master Lease Purchase Agreement, (not to exceed $10.2 million) that will only address the heating and ventilation needs of our elementary schools.   We will see HVAC costs in FY26 budget.

All budget information can be found at the following link: https://www.rsu16.org/about/budget-information.

What is this Informational Meeting at 6PM on May 21 before the District Budget Meeting?

At 6:00 PM in the PRHS/WMS Auditorium there will be an Informational Meeting on the School Revolving Renovation Fund (SRRF). The Superintendent will provide details about an interest-free bond totaling $110,180.00 to address ADA compliance issues at Minot Consolidated School. A significant portion, 61%, will be funded by the state, with the district covering the remaining 39% through payments spread over five years. 

Sincerely,

Amy and Todd

May 12, 2024

On Monday, May 13th, the School Board will progress in the budget process by reviewing and voting on the 2024-2025 budget, as recommended by the Budget Committee. The Budget Committee unanimously endorsed moving the $29,288,779.00 budget forward to the School Board. This marks a 6.9% increase from Fiscal Year (FY)24 to FY25. The School Board meeting begins at 6:30 PM at the PRHS/WMS Auditorium. Your input on the budget is welcomed by the School Board, and attendance or watching the livestream on YouTube is encouraged to hear the Superintendent's Budget Presentation.

Mark your calendars for May 21st at 6:00 PM in the PRHS/WMS Auditorium for an Informational Meeting on the School Revolving Renovation Fund (SRRF). The Superintendent will provide details about an interest-free bond totaling $110,180.00 to address ADA compliance issues at Minot Consolidated School. A significant portion, 61%, will be funded by the state, with the district covering the remaining 39% through payments spread over five years. Following this, at 6:30 PM, the District Budget meeting will begin.

On June 11th, your town's voting locations will host the Budget Validation Referendum. This is when community members will cast their votes either "yes" to approve the budget passed at the May 21 District Budget Meeting, or "no" to reject it.

Our objectives for the 2025 budget include covering all salary and benefit increases, totaling $1,170,120, and increasing the Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) to $600,000. This marks a $400,000 increase in the CIP from last year, where we raised $200,000. Notably, this budget does not include funding for Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) projects, which are not part of the Capital Improvement Projects (CIP). It's crucial to understand the distinction between the two. The RSU 16 School Board has opted for a Master Lease Purchase Agreement, not exceeding $10.2 million, to address the heating and ventilation of our elementary schools starting in FY26 budget. 

For budget details, please visit our website.

Sincerely, 
Todd and Amy

April 26, 2024

Dear RSU 16 Staff, Students, Families and Community Members,

The RSU 16 District Budget Committee met on Wednesday evening to complete their work on making a budget recommendation to the RSU 16 School Board.  The committee consisting of community members, school board members, and administrators came to unanimous agreement to recommend the proposed budget, as presented, to the RSU 16 School Board for their approval.

While the current budget, FY24 to FY25, comes in at less than 7% the impact felt by taxpayers will be larger than that due to a significant reduction the district has received in state subsidy.  A primary factor is the significant increase in property valuation in our three communities.  The state interprets this as indicating the communities are fiscally capable of assuming more of the cost for educating students.

We encourage you to review the updated Budget Book, located on the RSU 16 website, which contains: Cost Center Summary and Revenue, Increased Costs and Reductions, Capital Improvement Plan and What is Not in the Budget.  Budget information can be found at the following link: https://www.rsu16.org/about/budget-information.

The current budget stands at $29,288,779.  This is an increase of 6.9% from FY24 to FY25.  Our goals for the 2025 budget are to pay for all the salary and benefit increases, $1,170,120 and increase the amount in the Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) to $600,000. The increase is $400,000 as we raised $200,000 last year.

This budget represents a balance between meeting the educational needs of our students and staff, maintaining fiscal responsibility, and addressing critical infrastructure requirements. While challenges such as reductions in state subsidies and fluctuations in enrollment persist, our commitment to delivering quality education remains unwavering. The decision to pursue a Master Lease Purchase Agreement for HVAC projects reflects our determination to seek solutions to improve our school facilities while managing costs responsibly. Your support and engagement in this process are invaluable as we strive to uphold our district's mission and provide the best possible educational experience for all members of the RSU 16 community.

Important upcoming dates/events:

  • May 13th
    • 6:30pm - RSU 16 May Board Meeting
      • PRHS/WMS
  • May 21st
    • 6:00pm - Informational Meeting
      • School Revolving Renovation Fund: Interest free bond ($110,180.00)  to cover ADA compliance issues at Minot Consolidated School.  61% of the bond will be covered by the state with the remaining 39% covered by the district in payments over five years
    • 6:30pm - District Budget Meeting
      • PRHS/WMS Auditorium
  • June 11th
    • Budget Validation Referendum
      • Town Voting Locations
      • Polls Open - 8:00am

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at the RSU 16 Central Office or via email.

Respectfully, 
Todd 

April 12, 2024

Dear RSU 16 Staff, Students, Families and Community Members,

We encourage you to review the Budget Booklet which contains: Cost Center Summary and Revenue, Increased Costs and Reductions, Capital Improvement Plan and What is Not in the Budget.

Our goals for the 2025 budget are to pay for all the salary and benefit increases, $1,170,120 and increase the amount in the Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) to $600,000. The increase is $400,000 as we raised $200,000 last year.

The current budget stands at $29,329,077.  This is an increase of $1,930,613 or 7.05% from FY24 to FY25.

Our Budget Slides contain the following information:

  • State subsidy decreased by $751,000
  • Municipal Valuations increased by $140 million (this means the State says the towns can pay more)
  • The local revenue or amount the State says our towns can pay increased 25% from FY24 to FY25, from $12 million to $15 million.
  • The tax impact: Poland, based upon a $100,000 home, the additional school tax increase will be $251.00.  In Minot, based upon a $100,000 home the additional school tax increase will be $173.00.  In Mechanic Falls based upon a $100,000 home the additional school tax increase will be $205.00. 
  • Decreases in economically disadvantaged count, enrollment and students who tuition into RSU 16
  • We propose using $1 million in carryover
  • This budget has NO Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) funding in it. The HVAC projects are separate from the Capital Improvement Projects (CIP). It is important that the difference between the two is understood. The RSU 16 School Board has decided to use a Master Lease Purchase Agreement, (not to exceed $10.2 million) that will only address the heating and ventilation needs of our elementary schools.   

This budget represents a balance between meeting the educational needs of our students and staff, maintaining fiscal responsibility, and addressing critical infrastructure requirements. While challenges such as reductions in state subsidies and fluctuations in enrollment persist, our commitment to delivering quality education remains unwavering. The decision to pursue a Master Lease Purchase Agreement for HVAC projects reflects our determination to seek solutions to improve our school facilities while managing costs responsibly. Your support and engagement in this process are invaluable as we strive to uphold our district's mission and provide the best possible educational experience for all members of the RSU 16 community.

Respectfully, 
Todd and Amy

April 5, 2024

Dear RSU 16 Staff, Students, Families and Community Members,

Our focus this week has been refining the proposed budget ahead of our meeting with the RSU 16 Budget Committee on Wednesday. Led by the RSU 16 Administrative Team, we've prioritized student and staff needs while being mindful of taxpayer impact. Since December, the Administrative Team has diligently crafted the Fiscal Year (FY) 25 budget, aligning it with maintaining current programs and positions to meet the needs of our students and improve our infrastructure, aligning to our district goals and overall mission. Once again, we extend our gratitude to the Futures Task Force for their invaluable contributions. Their diligent efforts to raise awareness about our challenges and available options significantly contributed to the district's and School Board's progress in tackling Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) issues. Their contributions have been instrumental in shaping the focal points of the FY25 budget.

For FY25, our objectives include covering salary and benefit increases and bolstering the Capital Improvement Plan (CIP). The proposed budget stands at $29,329,077, reflecting a 7.05% increase from F24 to FY25.

Despite challenges, adjustments have been made, including eliminating unfilled positions, reducing special education tuition, and trimming costs in technology and instruction. Notably, HVAC funding is separate from the budget and will be addressed in the FY26 budget through a Master Lease Purchase Agreement.

This budget strikes a balance between educational needs, fiscal responsibility, and infrastructure requirements. We remain committed to delivering quality education while managing costs responsibly. Your ongoing support and engagement are crucial as we navigate this process.

The next RSU 16 School Board meeting is Monday, April 8 at 6:30pm in the PRHS/WMS library.  We encourage you to attend or watch the livestream on YouTube to hear the Superintendent Budget Presentation. In this presentation, Todd will review the factors impacting our budget and share the initial budget to “fund, fix and staff” our schools. This presentation is an opportunity to receive additional feedback before it is presented to the Budget Committee. 

Respectfully, 
Todd and Amy

March 29, 2024

Dear RSU 16 Staff, Students, Families and Community Members,

The next RSU 16 School Board meeting is Monday, April 8 at 6:30pm in the PRHS/WMS library.  We encourage you to attend or watch the livestream on YouTube to hear the Superintendent Budget Presentation. In this presentation, we will review the factors impacting our budget and share the initial budget to “fund, fix and staff” our schools. This presentation is an opportunity to receive additional feedback before it is presented to the Budget Committee in April.  

Our goals for the 2025 budget is to pay for all the salary and benefit increases, $1,183,637 and increase the amount in the Capital Improvement Plan (CIP).

Factors impacting the budget are:

  • State subsidy decreased by $751K
  • Valuation has increased by $140 million (this means the State says the towns can pay more)
  • Decreases in economically disadvantaged count, overall enrollment, and students who tuition into RSU 16
  • This current budget we used $1.5 million in carryover; next budget  year we will use $1 million in carryover, as that is the largest amount we can

Adjustments that have been made to the proposed budget:

  • 2.5 unfilled positions have been eliminated - cost savings of $153K
  • Special Education Tuition reduction of $103K
  • $86K in Technology and Improvement of Instruction cost center reductions
  • 2.4 Social Emotional positions that have been ESSER 3 funded will not brought into the local budget

These reductions have been difficult to make in order to arrive at our current proposed budget.

This budget has NO HVAC funding in it. The HVAC projects are separate from the CIP. It is important that the difference between the two is understood. The RSU 16 School Board has decided to use a Master Lease Purchase Agreement, not exceed $10.2 million, that will only address the heating and ventilation needs of our elementary schools.   

Upcoming Dates of Importance:

April 10: Budget Committee meeting

Budget Committee membership is School Board members Mary Martin, Andrea Winn, Angela Swenson, Jessica Smith, Mike Downing, Emily Rinchich, Town Officials Lisa Cesare, Mechanic Falls Rep TBA, Poland Rep-TBA and RSU 16 Administrators Todd Sanders, Stacie Field, and Amy Hediger.

April 24: Budget Committee will finalize the budget

May 13: School Board approves the budget

May 21: District Budget meeting, 6:30PM

June 11: Budget Validation Referendum at your town voting location

Our website serves as the hub for district information.

Have a great holiday weekend,
Todd Sanders

March 22, 2024

Dear RSU 16 Staff, Students, Families and Community Members,

I've concluded meetings with multiple community groups to share initial information concerning the challenges of the RSU 16 budget. I'm grateful for the opportunity to meet with numerous stakeholders, as we're all in this together.

We are aware that there are ongoing questions regarding the choice of the Master Lease Purchase Agreement. The School Board has been diligently researching, discussing, and considering many  options to ensure financial responsibility while effectively completing the HVAC projects.  

In one of our meetings, a comparison was drawn, likening the Master Lease Purchase Agreement to a home equity loan. Master Lease Purchase Agreements are exclusive to energy projects. For RSU 16, it will be for a HVAC project at each elementary school. During the completion of a school, RSU 16 will only utilize the predetermined amount allocated for that specific HVAC project. Interest payments will only apply to the utilized funds. The interest rate for each project or school will be determined by the prevailing rate at the time. Importantly, the school district isn't obliged to utilize the entire requested amount. This flexibility is significant as it allows the district to potentially utilize School Revolving Renovation Funds (SRRF) for certain expenses in the future, thereby reducing the financial burden of the Master Lease Purchase Agreement. 

We acknowledge the feedback expressing frustration about the lack of a referendum requirement for a Master Lease Purchase Agreement. We can confirm that numerous hours of work and discussion that led the School Board to unanimously vote in favor of moving in this direction.

So what’s next? 

The RSU 16 Administrative Team, composed of principals and directors, persists in drafting a budget that prioritizes meeting the needs of our students and staff to learn and work in safe and healthy environments, while also considering the impact on taxpayers. 

The next regularly scheduled RSU 16 School Board meeting is on Monday, April 8 at 6:30pm in the PRHS/WMS library.  As always, the public is encouraged to attend.

Your support is instrumental in shaping the future of RSU 16, especially at the District Budget Meeting on May 21 at 6:30PM and the Budget Validation Referendum on June 11 at your town voting location. Our website serves as the hub for district information.

Respectfully,
Todd Sanders and Amy Hediger

March 15, 2024

Dear RSU 16 Staff, Students, Families and Community Members,

I want to express my gratitude once more to the Futures Task Force. Amidst the challenges of the previous budget season and the unsuccessful heating referendum, they were called upon to thoroughly examine facility needs and academic needs. They worked hard to make more people aware of our problems and the choices we have, which helped the district and School Board move forward with addressing HVAC issues.

On Monday, March 11, the RSU 16 School Board unanimously approved a Master Lease Purchase Agreement, not to exceed $10.2 million to finance the HVAC needs of our three elementary schools. HVAC project estimates (pre-bid): Minot Consolidated School - $2.4 million, Elm Street School - $2.7 million, Poland Community School - $2.2 million. Total HVAC is approximately $7.4 million ($10.2 million with interest).

With all information provided, the Board determined a Master Lease Purchase Agreement was the financially responsible option to finance the projects. Note: these amounts are to fix the HVAC only, they do not include other facility repairs and improvements planned in the Capital Improvement Plan (CIP).

Master Lease Purchase Agreements are:

  • For energy projects only. RSU 16 will have separate HVAC projects - one at each elementary school.
  • While a project (or school) is being completed, RSU 16 will only access the amount of money determined for that HVAC project.
  • Only pay interest on that amount used to fund the project (or school), while the balance in the bank draws interest.
  • The interest rate for each project (or school) will be determined by the current rate at that time.
  • The bank assumes the responsibility to pay contractors and vendors.
  • The school district doesn't have to take or use the full amount requested. Why does this matter? When the district applies for School Revolving Renovation Funds (SRRF) in the future, it can use that money to pay for some of the expenses instead. This means we can take those costs off the Master Lease Purchase Agreement, which reduces the overall loan amount and lowers the interest we have to pay on any projects.

The School Board approved the bid to purchase three generators, $88K, for Minot Consolidated School. These generators will allow students to attend school when power is out in the town. Why three generators? The HVAC renovations include a single generator that will be sized according to the demands of the new equipment for that project. In the meantime, the installation of three smaller ones allows us to provide full functionality of our school without having to do extensive electrical work to receive those generators. When the renovations are completed, the three generators will be repurposed within the district or sold. The cost of these generators will be covered with ESSER 3 funds.

The Board approved acceptance of School Revolving Renovation Funds from the State of Maine Department of Education for identified Americans With Disabilities (ADA) compliance issues at Minot Consolidated School. The 0% interest bond is the amount of $110,180.00. The State of Maine will pay $68,290 (61.98%) with RSU 16 responsible for the remaining $41,890.00 (38.02%). This project needs to be completed within a year of the bond being awarded. The repayment time spans five years. Primary items that will be addressed are new accessibility ramps, and bathroom modifications.

In the current ED 279 (how much state funded money for education), RSU 16 has seen a reduction by $751K. In addition, each of the towns has seen an increase in the property valuations (this means the State says each town can pay more). With the financial landscape evolving due to decreases in state subsidy, fluctuations in student enrollment, and high costs of supplies it's imperative that we approach budgetary adjustments with careful consideration. Your input and engagement are immensely appreciated as we collaboratively navigate through these challenges.

I look forward to our upcoming presentations and encourage your continued involvement. Please explore our website for detailed budget information, and feel free to reach out if you have any questions or suggestions.

Upcoming presentation dates are:
      March 18, 2024 (6:30pm) - Poland PTA Meeting
      March 19, 2024 (7:00pm) - Poland Select Board Meeting
      March 22, 2024 (9:00am) - Friends of RSU 16 at Elm Street School

Your support is instrumental in shaping the future of RSU 16, especially at the District Budget Meeting on May
21 at 6:30PM and the Budget Validation Referendum on June 11 at your town voting location.

Respectfully,
Todd Sanders
Amy Hediger

 

March 8, 2024

Dear RSU 16 Staff, Students, Families and Community Members,

This week I met with the Minot Select Board, Mechanic Falls Town Council, and Minot Community Club. The
purpose of these meetings was to provide information pertaining to factors that have had a significant impact on
the budget development process.

These discussions outlined the impact of many factors, including:

  • A reduction in state subsidy of $751K. The property valuation has increased and this means the State says the towns can pay more, which equates to $507K.
  • RSU 16 has seen a decrease of 11 economically disadvantaged students and a decrease of 61 less students from October 2022 to October 2023. This means we are receiving less funding.
  • RSU 16 has small class sizes of 15-16 at the elementary level. This means we have more teachers than what the funding formula says we should have.
  • While reviewing the ED 279, one area of decreased enrollment is in our PreK program. RSU 16 will send a survey to Kindergarten families asking why they did not enroll in our PreK families. Once we have this information, we will share information and propose next steps.
  • The Board supported that we fix the identified heating, distribution, ventilation, electrical, automation HVAC projects in all three elementary schools not to exceed $10.2 million (with interest) HVAC Project Estimates: HVAC project estimates. The RSU 16 School Board is currently gathering information as to the most cost effective way to fund this project.
  • I am recommending that RSU 16 reduce the use of carryover funds by $751K in the initial budget proposal. Last year, RSU 16 used $1.5 million, which is not reasonable or sustainable.


Upcoming presentation dates are:
      March 18, 2024 (6:30pm) - Poland PTA Meeting
      March 19, 2024 (7:00pm) - Poland Select Board Meeting
      March 22, 2024 (9:00am) - Friends of RSU 16 at Elm Street School

The next RSU 16 School Board meeting is scheduled for Monday, March 11, 1024, at Poland Regional High
School. The meeting is scheduled to start at 6:30pm. Members of the public are always welcome to attend.

If you have a suggestion for another group for me to present to, please let me know.

In conclusion, these community engagements have provided crucial insights into the challenges we face in the
budget development process. The financial landscape is shifting with reductions in state subsidy and changes in
student enrollment, necessitating careful consideration of budgetary adjustments. The proposed HVAC projects
underscore our commitment to ensuring safe and comfortable learning environments for our students. Your
input and engagement are invaluable as we navigate these challenges together. I look forward to our upcoming
presentations and encourage your continued involvement. Please explore our website for detailed budget
information, and feel free to reach out if you have any questions or suggestions. Your support is instrumental in
shaping the future of RSU 16.

Todd Sanders
Amy Hediger

March 2, 2024

Dear RSU 16 Staff, Students, Families and Community Members,

While there haven’t been many new developments regarding the budget process in the past week, I would like
to share the following:

The RSU 16 School Board and School Board Subcommittees continue to work to gather information to
determine how to fund the HVAC projects at the three elementary schools. The current options are a Lease
Purchase Agreement or a Bond. Regardless of the option the Board pursues, residents of the district will be
informed of the option selected and the rationale why. The Board would like taxpayer input regardless of the
option selected. HVAC project estimates (pre-bid): Minot Consolidated School - $2.4 million, Elm Street
School - $2.7 million, Poland Community School - $2.2 million. Total HVAC is approximately $7.4 million
(without interest).

In the current ED 279 (how much state funded money for education), RSU 16 has seen a reduction by $751K.
In addition, each of the towns has seen an increase in the property valuations (this means the State says each
town can pay more).

In addition to the two dates you already have saved on your calendar (District Budget Meeting on May 21 at
6:30PM and the Budget Validation Referendum on June 11 at your town voting location), I am presenting to the
Town Select Board or Council and other groups. I will highlight the factors that have played a significant role
in impacting the budget development process for RSU 16 for the upcoming year. The dates for the current
scheduled presentations are:

Monday (3/4/24) - Mechanic Falls Town Council (6:30pm)
Monday (3/4/24) - Minot Select Board (6:30pm - Following Mechanic Falls Presentation)

Tuesday (3/5/24) - Minot Community Club Meeting (7:00pm)
Tuesday (3/5/24) - Poland Select Board (7:00pm - Following Community Club Presentation)

If you have a suggestion for another group for me to present to, please let me know.

Our website serves as the hub for district information:
https://www.rsu16.org/about/budget-information/24-25-budget-documents

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact me. Thank you for your continued dedication to our
community's educational well-being.

Todd Sanders
Amy Hediger

February 16, 2024

Dear RSU 16 Staff, Students, Families and Community Members,

As we head into a well deserved February break, I just wanted to take a moment and wish you all a healthy and
relaxing week. If you are traveling I wish you safe travels; and if you are remaining here in the great state of
Maine, I hope you get a chance to get outside and enjoy what looks to be a decent week of weather. May we
all return with fully charged batteries!

I wanted to provide some more recent budget related news. On Monday, February 12 the School Board
voted 11-2
to budget and plan for funding to fix the identified heating, distribution, ventilation, electrical, automation
projects at ESS, MCS and PCS at a cost of approximately $10.2 million dollars.

Vote: 11 - 2 (For: Mary Martin, Joe Parent, Steve Turner, Christine Downs, Emily Rinchich, Mike Downing, Angela
Swenson, Patrick Irish, Andrea Winn, Jessica Smith, Elizabeth Martin Against: Steve Holbrook and Randy Lautz)


Please see the links below for videos:

Feb 12 School Board Workshop Video

Feb 12 School Board Meeting Video

Important Specific Items:

  • Contributing Factors: Reduction in State Subsidy (ED279)
  • Fund Balance
  • School Revolving Renovation
  • Grant Versus Lease-Purchase Options
    • Necessary Heating and Ventilation (HVAC) Upgrades
  • Progress & Approach - Addressing RSU 16 Issues
  • “Fix Them” - “Staff Them” Balance

Our website serves as the hub for district information:
https://www.rsu16.org/about/budget-information/24-25-budget-documents

Once again, I wish you all a safe and happy February vacation.

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact me. Thank you for your continued dedication to our
community's educational well-being.

Todd Sanders
Amy Hediger

February 12, 2024 Slides Presented to School Board

February 8, 2024 Letter

Dear RSU Staff, Students, Families and Community Members,

I commend the work of the Futures Task Force, Steering Committee and the School Board for carefully
considering the information presented along with the many voices of our community members. In December
the School Board voted unanimously to maintain all three elementary schools. Although that set the course,
now we must fund, fix and staff our schools.

As we embark on the start of the budget season, I will inform you weekly of the important specifics and provide
you with the necessary time to review budget information and engage in any additional conversations. The
coming months will undoubtedly pose challenges. However, it is crucial to reinforce that we need to have one
school community thinking. Your input and collaboration are invaluable as we work towards a balanced and
reasonable budget for our tax payers to staff and fix our schools.


Important Specifics

  • School Revolving Renovation Fund (SRRF) Update: RSU 16 submitted seven applications with a primary focus on HVAC as well as ADA compliance issues. RSU 16 was only approved for a $110K ADA project at MCS. Since we received no SRRF funding from the State, we will have to pay for the HVAC projects through a purchased leased agreement, local funds, or a bond.
  • HVAC project estimates (pre-bid): Minot Consolidated School - $2.4 million, Elm Street School - $2.7 million, Poland Community School - $2.2 million. Total HVAC is approximately $7.4 million. Note: these amounts are to fix the HVAC only, they do not include the Capital Improvement Plan (CIP). AEI assessments drive the CIP plan.
  • In the current ED 279 (how much state funded money for education), RSU 16 has seen a reduction by $751K. In addition, each of the towns has seen an increase in the property valuations (this means the State says each town can pay more).

The School Board and Sub-Committees have been working with Operations Director, John Hawley and
Business Manager, Stacie Field to thoroughly understand needs and costs. Stacie Field has provided the bond
costs (which require a referendum) for the 20-year cost to only do Minot Consolidated School and the 20-year
cost to do all three elementary schools. Click here to see costs. Work would begin in the Summer of 2025.

Join the School Board for a crucial step forward on Monday, February 12. At 5PM, the School Board will
hold a Board workshop to discuss the costs, pros and cons of only completing MCS or completing all three.
Note public participation is not available during the Workshop. The Board meeting begins at 6:30PM and
welcomes public participation. Your presence and input are encouraged as we navigate the outcome of these
decisions together.

From the Task Force weekly communication, website and community forums, all three towns know and
understand the cost to retain all three elementary schools. It is imperative to formulate a budget to finance the
plan to fund, fix and staff our schools. It is not a question of if a significant event will happen to one of our
buildings, it is a question of when. The moment has arrived to confront these significant issues affecting all
three of our beloved community elementary schools.

Our website serves as the hub for district information:
https://www.rsu16.org/about/budget-information/24-25-budget-documents

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact me. Thank you for your continued dedication to our
community's educational well-being.

Todd Sanders
Amy Hediger

 

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