On Tuesday, Dec. 10, from 1 to 9 p.m., Secaucus voters can either approve a $27.4 million school construction referendum or vote it down. But the town won’t have to foot the whole bill if the referendum is okayed. Should it pass, the district will receive approximately 25 percent reimbursement from the state.
According to Gonnelli, the school monies would go to providing Secaucus with a “true” middle school, rather than one connected to the high school. It would open up classroom and other space in both the Huber Street and Clarendon elementary schools and Secaucus High School that could be used to accommodate the increased school population.
The improvements would be financed by issuing bonds, school officials said.
The project would include construction of new academic classrooms, a technology lab, science classrooms, and a new main/guidance office.
The state’s funding would cover about $7 million of the total project cost.
The mayor has touted the measure, saying that sans the state portion, the actual cost to Secaucus taxpayers will be about $20.4 million.
“The state’s contribution to this project, taken in combination with the fact that 65 percent of the town’s tax base comes from commercial and industrial properties, equates to homeowners only being responsible for about $7.15 million, or 26 percent of the total project,” Gonnelli said in a written statement.
“Put another way, the three years (2015 to 2017) with the greatest net impact on taxes will cost the average homeowner a little less than $9 per month,” the statement continued. “This seems like a small price to pay for the benefit of our children’s future.” – Joseph Passantino