South Burlington votes no on school district bond

Published: Mar. 4, 2020 at 12:30 AM EST
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South Burlington voters on Town Meeting Day overwhelmingly voted against a $209 million bond project to construct a new middle and high school.

According to the official results, 6,514 voters rejected it while only 1,712 voted in favor of it.

The goal of the project is to address overcrowding and aging mechanical and electrical infrastructure at South Burlington High School and Frederick H. Tuttle Middle School. After weighing five options, the board and the company hired to complete the project decided on a plan to knock down both schools and build a brand new one that students will share.

The school board estimates, on average, a household making the city's median income of $67,000 would pay $438 more per year. A household earning $136,000 and living in a $350,000 home would pay upward of $1,500 a year.

The majority of people WCAX News spoke to at the polls on Tuesday said they have children in the school district and they support school projects but not at such a large cost.

"No. I am making sure to vote very definitively no. We don't need a new school, we don't need to spend that kind of money. It's just not necessary," said Susan Sheldon of South Burlington.

School board members say they worked hard with their financial planning team to come up with the best estimates they could, but that it was impossible to calculate the effect for each individual resident.

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