Upton to take second look at scholarship fund
At their annual town meeting tonight (Thursday) Upton voters will again consider whether to expand the field of young people eligible for town college scholarships.
They will also vote on a proposed FY’14 municipal budget that, if approved, will be up about $8,800 from this year, according to Treasurer Jim Rector.
Last year’s scholarship article would have expanded the current requirement that students have a high school diploma to also include students under 21 who may have earned a diploma or credential by another means recognized by the state. Michele Bouchard, who submitted the article then, cited GEDs and homeschooling as alternate ways to qualify for the $1,000-a-year award.
But some voters objected to the idea and also said the wording of the article was unclear. It was defeated.
Selectman Bob Pepler said Monday he and Selectman Wanda Hall thought the issue should be brought back with the following wording: “To see if the town will adopt amended College Scholarship Fund requirements to include students who have received a high school diploma or other high school credential recognized by the State of Maine, all other requirements remaining the same as previously adopted by the town.”
As for the money articles, Rector said if all are approved the municipal total (not including school expenses) would be $179,480, up from the current 2013 budget of $170,680.
The town office expenses are proposed at $46,500, up from 2013’s $44,000, while municipal buildings expenses are proposed at $12,000, down from $14,000. Not all of this year’s funds were used, Rector said, but funds will likely go this summer toward a new front porch and handicapped-access ramp for the Town Office.
Up by about $2,000 to $50,000 is the Town Roads and Equipment Repair account. Also up are the legal costs account, to $2,500, to cover possible property abatement expenses, Rector said.
The FY’14 school budget proposal is down, with the town share at $52,875 compared to $67,969 for FY’13. The 2013 mil rate – to be set for tax bills that will go out this fall for the FY’13 budget – is estimated to go down from 6.3 to about 6.0, Rector said.
In municipal elections, Pepler said Deputy Assistant Town Clerk Rose Stevens is expected to run to replace Town Clerk Michele Boudreau, who is not running.
Incumbent Tax Collector Charlotte Dominique is expected to run again. Rector plans to retire and Deborah Judkins, who has been training for the position, is expected to run.
School Committee members John Aron and Robin Aldridge are up for re-election.
A selectman’s seat is also open. Pat Kenyon was elected to it last year, but after a procedural issue regarding the posting of the warrant, she did not assume the seat and is not expected to run now, Pepler said. He said he did not know of anyone who has announced running for the position.
The meeting starts at 7 p.m. at the School Building.