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Public Post is a community reporting initiative using digital tools to report on cities and towns across Vermont.Public Post is the only resource that lets you browse and search documents across dozens of Vermont municipal websites in one place.Follow reporter Amy Kolb Noyes and #PublicPost on Twitter and read news from the Post below.

School Consolidation On The Ballot In Bridgewater And Pomfret

Two Upper Valley towns will consider consolidating elementary schools on Town Meeting Day. Tuesday, March 3, voters and Bridgewater and Pomfret will vote on combining their kindergarten through sixth grade students into a jointly operated school, using the Pomfret School building.The Tuesday morning vote in Bridgewater will be held at the Bridgewater Village School – the very school building that would be shut down by the vote. The warning for the Bridgewater School District Annual meeting includes two budget votes as well as the merger question.

If the consolidation vote passes, voters will be asked to approve a $1,516,348 budget for the next school year. That bill would be split with Pomfret, with Bridgewater paying an estimated $653,701 and Pomfret paying an estimated $862,647. Bridgewater voters will also vote on appropriating $3,000 to support the Bridgewater School District "as a legal entity with continuing responsibilities" for the next fiscal year. If the consolidation vote fails, Bridgewater voters will be asked to consider an $877,581 budget to operate the Bridgewater Village School for the next school year.

Tuesday afternoon, Pomfret voters will consider similar questions. If both Bridgewater and Pomfret vote for school consolidation, then Pomfret will consider the $1,516,348 joint school budget, plus $5,000 to continue operating the Pomfret School District. If the consolidation vote does not pass, Pomfret voters will consider a $1,108,596 budget to operate the Pomfret School, with only Pomfret students, next year.

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