The Freeport Town Council fielded questions from residents this week regarding the town’s possible withdrawal from Regional School Unit 5.

The meeting, Tuesday night at the Town Hall, was held after the Tri-Town Weekly’s publication deadline.

Freeport residents will decide on Dec. 17 if they want to explore the possibility of leaving RSU 5, which also includes the communities of Durham and Pownal. Though RSU 5 voters on Nov. 5 passed a $14.6 million bond to renovate and expand Freeport High School, the vote was close – 2,324-2,252 – and it won despite a pronounced lack of support in Durham (828-467) and Pownal (395-218). The referendum went down in June, when Durham and Pownal also opposed it, then RSU 5 directors scaled back the price.

Moving Freeport Forward, a group that spearheaded the petition drive that spawned the Dec. 17 ballot question, has maintained that the need to leave RSU 5 does not revolve around the bond issue. Rather, they say, it’s all about local control of the town’s four schools, and incompatibility with the other two towns.

The RSU 5 board has vowed not to spend the bond money until the withdrawal issue is resolved. Polls at Town Hall will be open from 7 a.m.-8 p.m. on Dec. 17. The ballot question asks if residents want to expend no more than $50,000 for a committee to study the withdrawal process.

– Larry Grard

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