BELGRADE — A public hearing is scheduled for September for residents to weigh in on a petition calling for withdrawing from Regional School Unit 18.

Selectmen on Tuesday accepted a petition to begin the process of withdrawing, and the issue will go to Belgrade voters in November.

The 170 signatures on the petition were all collected by Penny Morrell, most of them outside the Town Office in June.

Belgrade is one of five towns in the district, which also includes China, Oakland, Sidney and Rome, and has considered the issue informally previously in response to the town’s rising education costs.

Morrell, who was a member of the most recent study committee, said: “Our conclusion was it looked like there would be a significant savings, but we’re amateurs.”

Rebecca Seel, a longtime school board member from Belgrade, said previously that the committee concluded no significant savings were identified.

The petition is the first step in a 22-step withdrawal process regulated by state law. If voters approve the move, in November, the town clerk has to forward results to the superintendent, and a withdrawal agreement is then developed. Voters again would weigh in on that agreement.

Betty Adams can be contacted at 621-5631 or at:

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