Letter to the Editor - Baileyville sewer system

The Town of Bailevyille is required repair/replace the sewer system for a cost of $331,342 per year on a bond payment. Add to that an 8% depreciation on the mill of over $181,000 and the increase in tax commitment is close to half a million dollars ($500,000). If we add renovating both schools for a tax increase of $343,187 per year or renovate the high school and add an addition for grades k-6 at a tax increase of $631,849, we are looking at a total tax increase of over $1,000,000. Our tax rate would/could go from $16.70 per $1000 valuation to $25.20 per 1000 valuation in 2024,2025 based on the addition option for the schools. So much for one of the good reasons to live in Baileyville. LOW TAXES. Numerous other factors could/would cause this to go up or down - earlier bonds paid off, additions to the mill, factors that might affect mill production etc.

I believe I’m hearing the build it they will come thing. People won’t come unless there are jobs. A few might come for other reasons.

In spite of negativity toward our schools, I think they are still attractive and pretty well maintained. Trustees were in charge until the late 1980s when both schools were paid off. I left the school department in 1992 but I have observed some major work (gym roof). Also there are things down within the schools that I think add to them. Maintenance needs to be done and we can do it on a priority basis for each year and we need to do it. Baileyville has always supported our schools and one priority has been staff salaries which I agree is important. We were most often in the top five highest paying school districts in the state which as allowed us to draw good teachers in spite of our location. I do know we have some excellent teachers and our kids are coming out well prepared. I know of lawyers, doctors, engineers, a vice president at Proctor and Gamble and one working at MIT who have come out of our school system. When I cam to Baileyville, my three children were in grades 1,2 and 4. One is a chiropractor, another graduated from Maine Maritime Academy and works for Exxon-Mobile and the other was in Desert Storm and does house reclamation work. All three graduated from Woodland High School as Salutatorians. The schools don’t seem much different than when my children attended. The buildings are not in as bad a shape as our superintendent, architect, school board members and some members of the public want us to believe.

I suggest/recommend we vote down the referendum on school facilities set for June 13 to: (1) Look at other options that just the town $5 million and $10 million options presented; (2) Set up a more representative committee; (3) Avoid seriously hurting lower income people, retirees, single person households, elderly people on fixed incomes facing increasing costs of living; (4) Keep the community better informed and seeking more suggestions, ideas and input.

School Support: Secondary (9-12) per pupil cost - $14,409.10. State average pupil cost (which is the tuition rate): $10,530.49. We are $3,401.10 above state average. Resident pupils (9-12): 74. Elementary (k-8): per pupil cost - $6,373.27, state average: $8,482.26. Baileyville $2,108.99 below state average.

John Morrison


Retired (1992) Woodland High School Principal