Paulsboro approves $3.1 million bond referendum for 'critical' repairs

By Rebecca Forand | South Jersey Times
January 28, 2015 at 6:00 AM


Voters in Paulsboro approved two referendum questions addressing multiple repairs at the school district's three schools during a special election Tuesday.

The referendum's two questions asked voters to approve more than $8 million in repairs ranging from boiler and roof repairs to athletic facility fixes.

Paulsboro High School Referendum approved

First on the ballot was a measure addressing critical infrastructure problems at Billingsport Elementary, Loudenslager Elementary and Paulsboro High School.

These included upgrades to the security systems, roof repairs and boiler system upgrades at each location, façade improvements, especially at Loudenslager where the brick is separating from the building, and bringing some of the facilities up to code and compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The second question covers improvements to the district's track and field facilities and tennis courts, as well as the construction of a new baseball field. Improvements on the second question could only be completed if the first question was also approved.
Superintendent Walter Quint and the Board of Education called the improvements "critical" to the safety of the children and expressed gratitude to Paulsboro voters Tuesday night.

"We're just very, very grateful for the kind of support we got from the citizens today," Quint said. "It's a good day in Paulsboro."

With 343 of the borough's 3,631 voters — or  9.45 percent — turning out, both questions passed by large margins.

The first question had 278 yes votes, or 81.52 percent and the second received 239 votes, or 70.09 percent, according to unofficial election results.

In total, with both questions approved, taxes for Paulsboro residents are expected to be raised approximately $34 per year for the owner of a home assessed at the borough's average of $113,387.

The bond referendum for the first question is just more than $ 2 million. The total amount of the repairs will be approximately $7 million, but a state grant will be covering 71 percent of that cost, due to the critical nature of the work.

Voters approved an additional $1.123 million for the second question.

According to Quint, the district has already been in touch with Garrison Architects of Bellmawr who will handle the project and work will begin Wednesday on its specifications, with work expected to begin as soon as school lets out for the summer.

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