After a year and a half of planning the Newport Select Board and Newport School District met on Monday night to review plans for combining financial resources. Newport’s Finance Director, Paul Brown presented two draft options to the boards. The first plan was to have a cooperative agreement where either the school or town would contract services from the other. The second plan was to create a new finance association similar to an SAU that serves two school districts.
One surprise in the presentation was there would be no immediate financial savings, calling for the elimination of only one or two positions. Newport resident Bert Spalding Sr,. a proponent of the idea expressed disappointment in the presentation.
School Superintendent Cindy Gallagher explained that one reason there are no immediate savings is because of the deep budget cuts to this year’s school budget. Terry Wiggins the school district’s Business Manager said that although the savings would be small, combining the resources and would be more efficient and productive. Select board member, Todd Fratzell suggested having a trial period of a finance association for one year. Finance Manager Paul Brown said it could be option three. No action was taken on the plans. Any plan decided on will go before the Newport voters.