If you had to decide between paying higher taxes or keeping a school open in your town which would you choose. That’s the decision set before Monticello residents as the potential permanent closing of the Wellington School is edging closer with a final community vote in a little more than week. But before that can happen, residents will have their say at a public meeting starting last week. Shawn Cunningham reports.
The school street sign could be a bit misleading in the next few months when there’s no school at the end of the road. The Wellington School building will be vacant and students bussed to Houlton Elementary School. The school closing is a sad state of affairs says Monticello Town Manager Ginger Pryor. Pryor says many residents have iterated to her they want the school to stay open.
Ginger Pryor is the Monticello Town Manager and responds “yes, they want to keep the school open its very important to have it in our community.”
Andrea Kjenstad, a Monticello Resident adds “its been a fabulous school, we need to keep it open, our community needs this school its part of who we are.”
And its sentiments like that, that will be voiced at a public meeting Thursday night to discuss the school closing. But there’s another side to this matter if the school is to stay open says Pryor. And it doesn’t come cheap.
Pryor adds “its gonna increase taxes cause there is an extra cost of 188 thousand dollars if we choose to keep the school open.”
SAD 29 Superintendent Mike Hammer tells Newssource 8…
“Tonight is just a public meeting to hear the community’s concerns and questions regarding how we are going to move forward with the closing of the Wellington School. We are sympathetic to people wanting to keep the school open. These situations are never easy and are emotional but I think the school’s staff have embraced this and want to move forward.
We hope the community will do the same.”
Pryor says it’s a tough decision to choose between keeping your school open or paying higher taxes. But some residents say not everything is brass tax. Some issues are far greater than the amount tacpayers could end up paying, and the loss of this school in this community could outweigh everything.”
Kjenstad says “it probably will raise taxes but I think its worth it to keep it in our community we have a lot of events there, and the students get the one on one attention that they need.”
Pryor says the public will vote on the matter on June 10th.