Family living on town line fights to stay in Middlebury - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Family living on town line fights to stay in Middlebury

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Children being uprooted from school because of property line (WFSB) Children being uprooted from school because of property line (WFSB)
MIDDLEBURY, CT (WFSB) -

State officials finally heard from a family whose children are being forced out of their school because their home straddles two towns.

For seven years, things have been going smoothly for the Murray family, whose children go to school in Middlebury.

That is where they thought they lived, until it was pointed out that the home was technically in Waterbury, and when it comes to schools, it is apparently violating state law.

“If you don't live in the district, you're not entitled to school accommodations,” said Anthony Shannon, attorney for Region 15. “To allow the Murray's children to attend school on a tuition-free basis is simply unfair to the other residents of the district.”

The Murray’s think of themselves as residents of the district.

Their Richardson Road property is both in Middlebury and Waterbury, and they pay taxes in both towns.

Since the actual home is in Waterbury, the region said it excludes the children from a Middlebury education.

“Residency for school purposes is not determined by address, taxes or where you register your dog,” Shannon said.

In front of an impartial hearing officer for the state, the Murrays entered new exhibits proving they are still meeting the requirements outlined by the very region that is attempting to oust them.

“I could've provided them with anything they asked for,” said Heather Murray.

The Murrays also said the previous homeowners had children who went straight through with a Middlebury education, so they are wondering why their children have to be punished because of the vague registration standards set forth by the region.

“There were mistakes and miscommunication made along the way from day one, and my kids are going to reap the consequences,” Murray said.

Eyewitness News learned this all started with a blight complaint from a neighbor.

It sent a zoning officer to the Murray home, and that is when he discovered the home is in Waterbury.

Murray said she believes her neighbor never thought it would end up like this, but now that they are here it is in the independent hearing officer’s hands.

He will rule before the end of November, and if it goes against the Murrays, the children will be in Waterbury by December.

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    Children being uprooted from school because of property line

    Children being uprooted from school because of property line

    Wednesday, October 28 2015 7:02 PM EDT2015-10-28 23:02:59 GMT
    Children being uprooted from school because of property line (WFSB)Children being uprooted from school because of property line (WFSB)
    A family in Middlebury has an address in that town, pay taxes in that town and their children go to Middlebury schools, but suddenly they’re being forced to learn in Waterbury.More >
    A family in Middlebury has an address in that town, pay taxes in that town and their children go to Middlebury schools, but suddenly they’re being forced to learn in Waterbury.More >