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Belfast voting to withdraw from RSU 20

7:37 PM, Aug 19, 2013   |    comments
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BELFAST, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- RSU 20 could be seeing some changes as early as tomorrow, that's when Belfast will be voting on whether to withdraw from the district. But they're not the only town in RSU 20 that is looking to do so...  

There's five other towns- Belmont, Northport, Searsmont, Swanville and Morrill. Those five towns combined with Belfast are the towns that used to make up the former SAD 34 system, and it is that system that they are trying to return to.

These six towns tried to withdraw back in June, but there was not a high enough voter turnout based on state law. But because of the high percentage of voters who wanted to approve a withdrawal, the state allows an immediate renewal of efforts. Which is why Belfast will be voting again tomorrow, they are trying to withdrawal from RSU 20 and go on their own, but the other five towns previously mentioned want to follow along with them. RSU 20 Superintendent Brian Carpenter says those towns feel that by reforming the old SAD 34 they will be able to save some money. He added that if they are not able to withdraw, it will be back to business as usual for the upcoming school year.

"I think there's a great opportunity here for all parties involved if it stays the way it is there would probably have to be some restructuring whether they withdrawal or not which means possible closures of schools to right size the organization to the number of students we have so that is always a possibility," said Brian Carpenter, RSU 20 Superintendent.

"We would like to hire an independent analysis of our what this would cost and what the implications of this are and whether we would save some money. I think if we saved money we'd all probably be on board to withdraw," said Bruce Brierley, Selectman of Searsmont.

Superintendent Carpenter says that the withdrawal would have to be done before the next fiscal year begins, but the way he sees it right now he doesn't feel that it will be a possibility until 2015.

Belfast will be voting tomorrow at the boat house. Polls open at 8:00 A.M. and are open until 10:00 P.M.

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