BATH — The five communities of Regional School Unit 1 are reviewing the effectiveness of the district’s cost-sharing formula, and seeing what other options might exist.

Representatives from all five communities met June 7 to begin that process.

The review was triggered by concerns over the RSU 1 Board of Directors’ unanimous vote April 23 to change the cost-sharing formula for next year’s budget, so that a law that created the school district would apply to its entire local tax calculation.

The board heard arguments from community members in support of the change, but not everyone in the communities, including the Bath City Council, was pleased with that course of action.

The council requested, in a May 9 letter to RSU 1 Chairman Timothy Harkins, that the board “immediately begin the process of adopting a new cost-sharing method that is fair and equitable to the taxpayers of all member communities.”

The council called for the formation of a committee to propose a new allocation method.

RSU 1 Superintendent Patrick Manuel said Monday that by the end of this week, the communities would notify RSU 1 of possible meeting dates, as well as who will represent them on the cost-sharing review committee. Each municipality will have two representatives, including one member and one alternate, Manuel said.

The group may bring in a facilitator who is knowledgeable about cost-sharing and could serve as an unbiased aid in the study process. It will ultimately make a recommendation to the School Board about whether to keep the current formula or implement a new one.

The recommended change could go to referendum in November.

Alex Lear can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 113 or [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter: @learics.

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