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Emergency meeting on Burlington High School bonding gap ends in executive session

There’s still no clear answer on how Burlington school leaders plan to fill the money gap to pay for a new high school.
Published: Jun. 14, 2022 at 5:57 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 15, 2022 at 6:57 AM EDT
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - There’s still no clear answer on how Burlington school leaders plan to fill the money gap to pay for a new high school.

Tuesday night, board members heard public comment for a few minutes, then went into executive session.

Plans to push forward with a $210 million school building hit a roadblock last week over bonding capacity.

The city says it can only bond for $150 million, $60 million less than the total price tag.

The funding gap has school officials deciding whether to scale back or ask the City Council for more money.

When it comes to raising the cap, City Councilor Mark Barlow, I-North, a former school board member, expressed skepticism.

“I wouldn’t want to jeopardize or risk increased borrowing costs, which would make the project cost more over the long run in terms of interest that would have to be paid. And I also worry about affordability in Burlington,” he said.

Under the full $150 million bond, average Burlington property owners would see their taxes increase by hundreds of dollars per year over the life of the bond.

Neither the mayor nor the superintendent agreed to our requests for an interview on the issue Tuesday. We also reached out to the school board on the next steps and had not yet heard back when this story was published.

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