Ocean City voters approve $3.5 million
referendum for school roof

By MICHAEL MILLER Staff Writer, 609-463-6712 | Posted: Tuesday, September 29, 2009 |

OCEAN CITY - Voters overwhelmingly approved a school bond of $3.5 million for a new roof on the Intermediate School.

The district touted Tuesday's special election as the "warm and dry" referendum.
The bond passed 856 to 286, according to unofficial numbers from the Cape May County Clerk's office.

The district will borrow $3.5 million to match $3.4 million it is receiving in state grants. The remainder of the $8.5 million project, or $1.6 million, will come from its general budget surplus.

Board President Jay Gillian said getting the state grant probably made the difference in Tuesday's vote. "I think that's it. You pay a lot of taxes in your state. Any time you can get it back in your community, you have to take advantage of it," he said. "I was hoping for a good turnout. I was pleasantly surprised."

One of the voting machines from the 20 districts had a discrepancy in its tabulations, but this was not expected to affect the election outcome, the City Clerk's office said.

Along with the new roof, the project will replace the school's heating and cooling system, install new fire doors and add energy-efficient lights.

Tuesday's referendum will add three-tenths of a cent to the school tax rate. The district said the average city taxpayer with a property assessed at $681,000 will pay about $21 more per year in school taxes.

The district has been planning the project for the past eight years, completing a Long Range Facilities Plan with Garrison Architects of Mt. Laurel..

Construction is slated to begin in June. The entire project could take two summers to complete, school officials said. The work is not expected to interfere with classes.

The project was endorsed by the civic group Fairness in Taxes.

The vote in Ocean City was one of 25 school ballot questions across New Jersey on Tuesday.


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