Windham denied injunction

Posted

WINDHAM — The vote on whether to consolidate Windham Elementary School District with the West River Modified Union School District is still on.

West River Board Chairman Joe Winrich said the injunction Windham School District sought to stop the vote was denied by a judge Monday.

"The vote tomorrow is on although I have heard some rumors to the contrary," he said.

Voters in Brookline, Newfane, Jamaica, Townshend and Windham will decide on the merger via Australian ballot today. They also will vote on combining the two budgets together.

According to a fact sheet about the merger vote, an affirmative vote from all the towns would mean the Windham School Board would cease to exist after December and the town would have representation on the unified board. Students from Windham would be given school choice within the West River district. Unless the Windham School Board decides to sell the school building in its town, students from Windham and the other towns could attend classes there. Taxpayers in Windham would get a 30-cent reduction in school taxes this year, meaning roughly $600 for a home worth $200,000. Jamaica and Townshend would see 1-cent increases or $20 for a home worth $200,000. The merger would have no impact on Newfane and Brookline tax rates.

Windham students would "get access to full day pre-k, universal lunch and afterschool programs," according to the fact sheet. "Only a YES vote of Windham voters can close the school. If closed, the town may purchase the school building for $1 for public use (for 5 year timeframe)."

If the merger is rejected, the plan is to have another vote to see if Windham should leave the Leland & Gray union. L&G hosts middle and high school students from the West River Valley.

Reach staff writer Chris Mays at cmays@reformer.com, at @CMaysBR on Twitter and 802-254-2311, ext. 273.

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