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Middletown Voters Will Decide $32M Referendum

The district anticipates $12.9 million in state funding, which would otherwise not be available if the referendum is voted down.

The Middletown Township Board of Education on Tuesday approved putting a $32.9 million before voters, APP.com reports.

The project would include upgrades to the heating systems at Middletown High School North, Middletown High School South, Bayshore Middle School, Thompson Middle School and Thorne Middle School. The proposal also covers roof replacement at the high schools and middle schools, as well as Bayview, Fairview, Leonardo, Lincroft, Middletown Village, Navesink, New Monmouth, Nut Swamp, Ocean Avenue and River Plaza elementary schools.

The district anticipates $12.9 million in state funding, money that would otherwise return to the state if the referendum is voted down, according to APP.com.

The local share of the project would be $19.3 million in bonds.

The special school district election on the referendum will be held Tuesday, March 11.
MaverickMom January 31, 2014 at 09:45 AM
Jasper, you are saying we should raise taxes on people and spend money we don't know if we need to spend because the state will help us do it? As for the architect, by your logic then, why hold the referendum until they KNOW what needs to be done. You must be related to a board member to try and use that kind of logic.
JasperRam January 31, 2014 at 10:29 AM
Maverick You know that Patch is going away, right? What will you guys do with your lives? I believe I asked questions - not arguing. I was asking how you knew we didn't need those things. If we did need those things how much would they cost (architect)? If we need them and the state could help - let's take advantage of the opportunity, no? Don't understand what you're trying to say in the 'by your logic ... ' statement List of issues to be addressed ---- get a professional to assess addressing of those issues as to nature of remediation and cost. --- present referendum to public as to needs, remediation and cost is the methodology required for any public construction. I don't know if you need it or not. Can it be diminished providing the best bang for the buck? Will the public buy it? No relatives on board - just a furious advocate of our children. Don't like the board much.
Nephews Skateshop + Gallery January 31, 2014 at 11:51 AM
The real question is: "how much pork is built into this referendum?" How about the BOE bids the jobs out to a few roofing and HVAC companies to get a real estimate (like the law states)?
Jesse January 31, 2014 at 04:32 PM
JasperRam, what do you mean Patch is going away? Do tell.
JasperRam January 31, 2014 at 06:16 PM
Jesse Google 'layoffs Patch'. Shore Patches still here with skeleton crews. new owners have to figure out this massive money losing enterprise.
JasperRam January 31, 2014 at 06:43 PM
there is no doubt in my mind that they will do exactly that as they always have.
Jesse January 31, 2014 at 07:57 PM
JasperRam, I see what you mean.
JasperRam January 31, 2014 at 08:02 PM
shame but insiders think the wrong people made the decisions - the Shore Patches were the best but were not listened to.
Politically Incorrect February 01, 2014 at 10:52 AM
There are a lot of valid questions out there and I was certainly concerned as well. To start, I have no relatives on the Board - - just 3 children in the district. My daughter has been sitting in a middle school during this cold stint with her winter jacket on in classroom temps in the 50s. Whoever made the decision to take out the boilers and install geothermal way back when made a bad decision. My son walks down the hall of an overcrowded school with a bathroom that has been closed because the roof leaked through a classroom and down into the bathroom. The roofs have not been maintained since the 1990s (more like 20 years ago versus 10). Last summers project addressed 2 elementary schools and did patch jobs elsewhere. Whether we want to admit it or not, these are repairs and costs that WE WILL HAVE TO PAY for. Is this a great opportunity to have the state cover 40%? As a taxpayer, I say it sounds like it. As to some of the other questions that I had as well: - I believe the architect is only due $13,200 for pre-referendum work. If it does not pass, they do not get paid. Chris Aveta asked this question at the working meeting. - How much pork is in the referendum? If the estimates/costs are lower than the referendum, the remaining funds must be used to pay down the debt. They can not use money designated to fix a roof at south to pay for a new AC unit somewhere else. It is designated for these projects. I am not an overall fan of the way the BOE works, but, I really think we would not be financially prudent if we did not take advantage of the state agreeing to pay 40% of projects that are considered critical/tier 1. They will ultimately have to be done.
JasperRam February 01, 2014 at 11:09 AM
good post politically incorrect - factual information.
JP February 01, 2014 at 01:45 PM
If our schools have been in such disrepair for so many years, what business did we have spending money on turf fields? If the same people who were pushing for the turf fields are now putting their hands out to taxpayers for massive and long overdue repairs and upgrades, the citizens of Middletown have every reason to be skeptical.
MaverickMom February 01, 2014 at 03:23 PM
Agree JP and politically incorrect, the amount for the architect is incorrect. Are you really going to believe that a full assessment of what the schools need can be done for only 13k? as for the patch, such is life
JasperRam February 01, 2014 at 03:46 PM
are you sure of the source of the turf field funding. if not you should not post post only what you know to be true is my policy.
MY town February 01, 2014 at 04:28 PM
The schools had major repairs including roof work less then 20 years ago . The two bubbles were temporary structures while this work was being done . We cant argue whether the work needs to be done. But what about question what happened to the recent repairs ? Was there a warranty on the work ? Jasper the turf fields were funded through board of ed and Parks if I remember correctly, which means we the tax payers paid for it either way . I for one will not vote for this . I have a few friends who work for the Board of ed cleaning the schools and they tell me of all the items that get thrown away every summer . There's too much waste
JasperRam February 01, 2014 at 05:17 PM
I think the South field was funded differently. But BOE had legal responsibility when that happened to provide for North. Other fields were a move to utilize opportunity. As for waste, usually that is overstated.
MaverickMom February 01, 2014 at 06:00 PM
I too recall listening to one of the candidates talk about the fields and saying these came from state funding or something like that. I'm not entirely certain that the taxpayers paid for this. As for this referendum, NO WAY. If the board really wants to make an impact, cut the number of administrators and use the savings for more teachers
JP February 01, 2014 at 06:26 PM
Every time the taxpayers are led down the garden path, it is because someone wants to "utilize opportunity" or "strike while the iron is hot" Costs of this magnitude should be planned years in advance, bid properly with needs prioritized. And if we haven't learned our lesson as far as Board members and conflicts of interest, shame on us. I have to wonder whether board members themselves are putting out some propaganda here to see what flies.
MY town February 01, 2014 at 06:47 PM
I was referring to the new turf field at Nut Swamp school
JasperRam February 01, 2014 at 08:09 PM
they have consistency cut administrators and really have far fewer than would be expected.
MaverickMom February 02, 2014 at 03:20 PM
not enough as evidenced by the multiple vp's in our schools.
JasperRam February 02, 2014 at 06:02 PM
when you went to school they had assistant principals (mostly disciplinr
JasperRam February 02, 2014 at 06:11 PM
When you went to school in Middletown there were two assistant principals ( mostly discipline). However, there were multiple supervisors in the same bargaining (union) unit. They were in BOTH high schools. In a bargaining action to eliminate some people and to save money the BOE eliminated ALL supervisors and opened up less but more flexible positions and made them asst. principals. Assistant principals can perform duties that supervisors cannot do. So the board had more effective employees for less money.
joe smith February 02, 2014 at 08:52 PM
I know this will be a horrible scenario to a lot of the moms out there, but it is time to close elementary schools and consolidate. These schools are antiquated and are not worth repairing. This idea was bandied about back in the 90s when my kids were enrolled during the last renovation. But mothers were horrified that their children may be bussed out of their little neighborhoods. Let's be realistic most of these schools are a disgrace and an embarrassment. Would I really want to buy a house here and send my kids to these dingy looking schools. Take an objective look around. Quite frankly this neighborhood school idea is also passe. Pass up the $$$ and come up with a long term solution and then seek out funds.
JasperRam February 02, 2014 at 09:06 PM
Actually it was NOT the Moms. It was the old timers who didn't want their beloved old Leonardo (former high school) close down. When the Leonardo building was saved, Navesink old-timers got into it. Followed by some others. It was a good plan. But the BOE will lose Navesink's land if it is no longer a school. Also problem with Middletown is that there is no such thing - there is Lincroft, Leonardo, Belford, Navesink, River Plaza, etc.
MaverickMom February 02, 2014 at 10:13 PM
I agree Joe, consolidation does make sense and would save a ton of money as well.
joe smith February 03, 2014 at 05:47 AM
@jasperam I got into it with a woman from nutswamp and she didn't want to take the chance that her children, who were not that young, bussed all the way over to God forbid, Navesink, Belford and Pt. Monmouth. She was absurd. We need to close some of these schools, they are too expensive to maintain and too close in proximity to each other. Some people don't think twice about dropping their kids off to a day care that is not close to their homes. I'm tired of spending good money after bad. I'm voting no on this.
JasperRam February 03, 2014 at 06:38 AM
well that was a fear monger thing. the plan called for a very large elementary at Leonardo/Bayshore site. It would house Port Monmouth, Leonardo and Navesink. The parent groups of those schools were reluctantly on board at first. Then the old timers if those three schools got involved and killed it. Don't know what bothered your Nutswamp parent. The schools on 'that side of town' were not affected - sides of town became an issue as did the fact that each section of Middletown is so independent. Would have had only two Middle Schools as well. But I think 'Just vote no is also part of everything in Middletown.
Politically Incorrect February 03, 2014 at 08:38 AM
I also believe there is an opportunity to consolidate schools. If you drive from Ocean to Port Monmouth (a little over a mile) and then Port Monmouth to Harmony is a little over a mile. There is the same thing between Lincroft, Nut Swamp and River Plaza (within 2 miles of each other). This would require some long range planning that no administration seems to have been able to handle. Turf fields were paid by township and BOE. BOE contributed $250,000 for 2 turf fields. The second of which will be put near Thorne I think. Ultimately, I worry we will pay for these repairs anyway. There is no way they can continue as status quo. They also discussed that the geo thermal is deteriorating and wells will have to be fixed (very expensive). The idea of adding boilers was to actually plan ahead and have an option for geothermal. What is going to cost us more as taxpayers - paying for repairs ourselves or getting 40% from state.
MaverickMom February 25, 2014 at 01:57 PM
@politically incorrect....the boilers issue is a result of not properly planning when the geothermal was introduced. I'd rather pay as it comes up and out of the budget, this way our spending is controlled and moderated annually. Also, where does this new spending address several other concerns such as overcrowding? Better yet, where is the plan that lists all of the things that need to be done?????
Deborah February 26, 2014 at 04:55 PM
The reason these repairs have moved to the forefront of the conversation and ahead of overcrowding is because of the nature of this type of grant. This grant is only available for this type of repair work and MUST be completed within a tight time window. That is why the vote is moved up to March instead of November and ahead of the overcrowding concern that some of you have referred to.

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