The Durham Board of Selectmen was scheduled to begin discussion this week of a petition to withdraw from Regional School Unit 5.

The Tuesday night meeting was held after the Tri-Town Weekly publication deadline.

Two weeks ago, Donna Church submitted the 214 signatures needed to bring withdrawal to the attention of the board, said Ruth Glaeser, town administrator. Church displayed the petition at her store, the Durham Get & Go, but has denied that she started it. Glaeser said that town officials do not need to know who started the petition. Town Clerk Shannon Plourde verified the authenticity of the signatures soon after she received them on her desk.

Glaeser said she expected a brief discussion on the matter on the part of the Board of Selectmen.

“Basically, what they’re going to discuss is when they’re going to hold a vote,” Glaeser said. “They have to decide to put it on the ballot at some point.”

Until then, the board must come up with a figure as to what withdrawal would cost the town. It’s not the first go-round for Durham, which considered withdrawal from RSU 5 in 2012. The estimated cost of $1.1 million, however, was too much for residents to swallow. They decided not to explore withdrawal by a vote of 828-287.

Freeport residents went through a year-long process studying withdrawal, which ended last November when voters decided in a close vote to keep RSU 5 intact.

RSU 5 also includes Pownal.


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