Eddy school seeking way to slow down Route 27 traffic

Thu, 10/15/2020 - 8:15am

    An Edgecomb school official is seeking state assistance in making the campus safer for entering and exiting traffic. Edgecomb Eddy School Principal Ira Michaud reported during the Oct. 13 school committee meeting that earlier in the day he contacted Maine Department of Transportation about slowing down Route 27 traffic. Michaud made the request based on an increase in traffic as more parents are dropping off and picking up students, due to the coronavirus, and the posted 50 miles per hour speed limit on Route 27. “I called the DOT this afternoon and left a message to see if we could do something for the turning traffic. Exiting motorists go up a hill and are blind to the oncoming traffic from the left. I’m hoping an engineer has a solution,” he said.

    In other action, Anchor Church received approval to hold services in the Edgecomb Eddy School gymnasium. Michaud received a request from an Anchor Church member who is also the school’s nighttime custodian. Anchor Church estimates about 30 of the parish’s 45 members would regularly attend a three-hour Sunday service. Michaud reported church members would sanitize the space after each use.

    “The pastor and his wife are both Edgecomb residents and I think it’s important for the school to support our community. There shouldn’t be a safety problem because they won’t reach the 100 people now allowed for indoor public gatherings. They have 45 members and rarely do all members attend the same service,” he said.

    The church will be charged $100 per meeting for a three-hour period, according to Michaud.

    The school has spent federal emergency funds on more student laptops and cleaning materials. Among the cleaning devices purchased are nine room air purifiers and a vacuum cleaner. Michaud reported the student-to-laptop ratio is 1:1. Students use the laptops at school. Michaud doesn’t envision students taking laptops home except for remote learning. 

    The committee re-appointed Tom Abello as chairman. He will serve as chairman until his term expires in May. Heather Sinclair was re-elected vice chairman and will succeed Abello as chairman next spring. Abello urged residents to support the school budget in the Oct. 15 special town meeting referendum vote. He described the 19 education spending articles as being “responsive to both the school’s and taxpayers’ needs.” 

    “This is a very good budget. It reduces local taxes by 3.8% by taking $200,000 from the undesignated fund. This is possible due to the tuition paid by Alna and Westport Island students, which has paid dividends to our school in the past two years,” he said. 

    Committee member Dawn Murphy was picked to attend the Oct. 30-31 Maine School Management Association virtual conference. The two-day leadership development conference for Maine school board members, superintendents and other leaders in education features speakers, product and service vendors and over 40 clinics.

    The school committee meets next at 6 p.m. Monday, Nov. 9.