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Gorham OKs $450K for school security

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Posted: Wednesday, April 10, 2013 7:37 pm

GORHAM – With eyes on tightening security at Gorham schools, the Town Council on Tuesday granted the school department $245,000 for safety upgrades.

The council, in a special meeting, approved the measure 6-0 (Chairman Phillip Gagnon absent). 

“The school board has some pressing safety needs,” said Michael Phinney, council vice chairman, who ran the meeting.

Before the meeting, Superintendent Ted Sharp said the funds would be utilized for upgrading security at schools but Sharp declined to reveal further specifics.

The town has five schools. 

The council’s allocation for security improvements came from unspent funds in the present budget. The money is a portion of an amount the town had earmarked to purchase a fire truck. But, Phinney said, the town went out to bond to finance the fire truck.

Town Councilor Matthew Robinson said the grant to the school department did not qualify for a referendum and the money would be spent at separate schools. 

“It’s not one big capital item,” Robinson said. 

Expenditures of $250,000 and up would need approval by town voters in a referendum.

In other action, the Town Council extended a special amusement permit for PineCrest Bed & Breakfast Inn to Tuesday, May 7, which is the next regular meeting of the council.

The council adjourned to a workshop about Town Manager David Cole’s proposed $12.2 million municipal budget. 

On the school side, the Gorham School Committee was expected to vote on Sharp’s proposed $32.6 million spending plan at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, April 10, after the American Journal deadline.

According to a timeline, Sharp is to deliver the school budget to Cole on Monday, April 22. The Town council and School Committee are tentatively scheduled for a joint budget workshop on Tuesday, May 21.

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