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Public Post is a community reporting initiative using digital tools to report on cities and towns across Vermont.Public Post is the only resource that lets you browse and search documents across dozens of Vermont municipal websites in one place.Follow reporter Amy Kolb Noyes and #PublicPost on Twitter and read news from the Post below.

Pittsford's Lothrop School Is One Step Closer To Heating Upgrades

The school board and select board in Pittsford have both voted unanimously to use a fund bequeathed to the town to finance a heating system and other energy upgrades at Lothrop Elementary School.

Last winter the Pittsford taxpayers spent $68,000 to heat the school building. A new wood pellet boiler and associated improvements are expected to knock $40,000 off the school's annual heating bill.

In a joint meeting this month the school board and select board both voted to borrow up to $970,000 from the so-called Burditt Fund, to cover payments on a 20-year bond. According to select board meeting minutes, "the [will] of Mr. Burditt indicates that the School Board and the Select Board both must unanimously vote to approve of use of funds."

Minutes for a Sept. 11 school board meeting state, "According to the will, the purpose of the trust is to assist the Town of Pittsford, school district and any union school to construct and maintain public schools. It authorizes expenditures subject to the limitations of the principal or interest, or both to assist Pittsford in acquiring lands, to construct, remodel or repair public school buildings or grounds."

While it has been the practice of the town to only use interest from the fund, this project together with two previous obligations will mean dipping into the fund's principal. School board minutes note the last known principal figure, from 2013, was just under $2.25 million.

The new pellet system will include a silo capable of storing 30 tons of wood pellets that will automatically feed into the burner. The system can also be converted to natural gas, should it become available in Pittsford.

A public bond vote on the project is expected to be held in November.

Amy is an award winning journalist who has worked in print and radio in Vermont since 1991. Her first job in professional radio was at WVMX in Stowe, where she worked as News Director and co-host of The Morning Show. She was a VPR contributor from 2006 to 2020.
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