Town officials in Winchester will be meeting about loans to help keep the schools open.
The northwestern Connecticut town of Winchester is dealing with a financial crisis it fears might shut down all three of the community's public schools in December and town officials tonight will be meeting about taking out a loan.
Officials from the school department are afraid they won’t be able to make payroll come December, in part due to the disappearance of millions of dollars in town funds.
Last year, state police arrested Henry Centrella Jr., the town’s former finance director, on several larceny charges after a town audit revealed that $2 million was unaccounted for between January 2008 and November 2012. Centrella has not entered a plea and will be in court tomorrow.
Tonight, the board of selectmen will meet and there is a special item on the agenda to discuss loan offers from several banks in an attempt to avert shutting the schools.
The threat of a possible closure has parents and students on edge.
“It would be kind of tough because this is my second year and I’m pretty much used to this,” John Ellis, a sixth grade student, said.
Jennifer Royer, a Winchester parent, said interrupting children in the middle of the school year is not fair.
During the meeting, town officials could also consider levying a new tax to help keep the school doors open.
The problem, police said, is that the money probably wouldn’t come in fast enough.
The state board of education is also investigating the district's finances.
The meeting will be held at in the P. Francis Hicks Room, on the second floor of town hall, which is located at 338 Main Street in Winsted.