Voters overwhelmingly approved bond referendums in both the Absecon and Ocean City school districts Tuesday, while the Greater Egg Harbor Regional school district voted one down.
Hamilton Township was the only municipality of the four that make up the Greater Egg Harbor Regional district to vote in favor of the$37 million bond, 582 to 395. Egg Harbor City rejected it 118 to 29; Mullica, 116 to 70 and Galloway, 781 to 439.
Had it been approved, the bond would have covered the needs at Absegami, Oakcrest and Cedar Creek high schools, including funding air conditioning for Oakcrest High School, renovating the locker rooms, updating security systems and renovating the athletic complex and fields at Absegami and increasing locker room capacity, renovating the athletic complex and fields, and installing an official school sign and stadium lighting at Cedar Creek, among other things.
It was rejected by 367 votes.
Voters in Absecon approved a $3.1 million to complete $5.2 million in repairs to the Emma C. Attales and Ashton Marsh schools, 423 to 247.
State aid will cover almost $2.1 million of the costs of the work, which includes a new roof for the Attales school and a section of new roof at the Marsh School. Both school gyms will get new lighting, as will all Marsh School classrooms and the Attales art room, computer lab and offices.
There were also 32 unofficial absentee ballots in Absecon, but due to the margin of victory they will not impact the election. The bond is expected to cost taxpayers between $35 and $38 per year per $100,000 of assessed value based on a 17-year payout and an interest rate of 3,75 percent.
"We are deeply thankful for the results of today's election,” Absecon schools Superintendent Jim Giaquinto said following Tuesday’s results. “The community has said yes to a comprehensive, cost-effective solution, which will ensure a quality facility to house educational and community programs for many years to come. Today's affirmation will also assist us in providing educational excellence to the children of Absecon. "
Meanwhile in Ocean City, voters approved an almost $6.7 million bond to make renovations to its Primary School 755 to 239.
The district is also eligible for a state grant to cover almost $2.4 million of the cost and has saved more than $1.7 million in its capital reserve account, which will go toward completing the work. The rest, almost $2.5 million, will be borrowed for a 10-year period.
The project will include replacing the roof, an emergency generator, hot water heater, boilers, lighting, ceilings, exterior and classroom doors, and the fire alarm system. The hearing and ventilation system will be upgraded, new windows installed, and air conditioning will be installed in the entire building. Asbestos caulking in windows and exterior building-mounted lighting will be removed.
About $650,000 in work was not eligible for state aid and will be paid entirely through the district capital reserve fund. That work includes corridor doors security hardware and locks, classroom and corridor lighting, and ceiling tiles and grid.
The bond will increase local property taxes about $15.39 per year over 10 years on a home assessed at the average $500,00
If Greater Egg Harbor Regional district bond had been approved, in a house assessed at $100,000, taxes would have increased $25 per year in Egg Harbor City, $21 per year in Galloway Township, $22 per year in Hamilton Township and $36 per year in Mullica Township, according to information provided by the district. Residents in the sending districts of Port Republic and Washington Township in Burlington County could not vote
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