Briefs

67

City Council seeks $150K
reduction in school budget
WESTBROOK — The City Council sent the proposed $40.5 million school budget back to the School Committee Monday night, telling the board to cut it by $150,000. 

Council President Gary Rairdon said that even with the $150,000 decrease, the projected budget will still increase by 5.2 percent over last year’s budget. 

“We needed to deliver a clear message that we need to be sustainable and have a well-balanced budget,” he said.

The Committee finalized the budget in April after reducing it from $41.2 million, although some members were worried about the impacts the reduction could have on schools. 

“I feel that the School Committee can make these tough decisions, but hopefully they cut it in an area where it will not impact the children,” Rairdon said. 

After a second reading and adoption on May 13, the budget will be sent to a referendum vote on June 11. 

Director of re-entry home
plans information meeting

GORHAM — The director of Courage House, a re-entry facility that will house former prisoners beginning in June at 24 School St., will hold a  public informational meeting May 29.

Al Garcia, director, posted on Facebook that the meeting is set for 6 p.m. at First Parish Congregational Church, 1 Church St. The church is diagonally across School Street from the re-entry house, a former fraternity house and now a rooming house.

The re-entry home will be a sober residence for up to 15 men who qualify and are on probation.

At Tuesday’s Town Council meeting, resident Paula Green and two other women spoke of their concerns about the facility. Green said she is concerned about the its proximity to day cares and dance schools and also wondered about the impact on village businesses.

“We don’t know complete backgrounds of these men,” she said.

An outcry from some residents is calling for the town to regulate group homes, but under the federal Fair Housing Act recovering alcoholics and drug addicts are considered handicapped and protected from housing discrimination. Also, the town treats community living homes as single-family residences under provisions of state law.

Town councilors will discuss the matter with town lawyers at a legal workshop on Thursday, May 23. The workshop will be open to the public but no council action will be taken in the meeting.