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Point Boro Schools Meet Parents, Community; Push For $15.9 Million Referendum

Referendum is Dec. 10

With the public set to decide a $15.9-million Point Pleasant Boro school referendum to repair and upgrade school facilities, the district has stepped up efforts explaining the reasons and impact of the spending plan.

Superintendent Vincent Smith said the district administration has met with parents groups, held information sessions and put out flyers throughout the borough to explain the project.

Smith said the timing of the referendum was based around the district’s ability to secure a promise of reimbursement from the state. State funding will pay for 40 percent of the project’s cost, leaving the district to pay for the remainder through bond notes.

“We put it off for three and half years to get the funding,” Smith said.
“We are confident on this…We want to get it done.”

Another information session began the November school board meeting, with offers to speak to the district’s professionals who administered the project plans. The board had no questions or comments for the professionals, saying they had extensively heard their presentations before and were satisfied. Smith said the professionals were on hand again to address any questions or comments from the board or public on the referendum.

The Point Pleasant Boro School District is asking voters to approve a $15.9 million building improvement plan on Dec. 10.

The plan addresses “critically needed” repairs and improvements to  according to the district. For example, three of the schools’ roofs are more than 24 years old, have been assessed for repairs and are out of warranty.

The district funded the Ocean Road roof replacement in the current budget cycle, so Point Boro plans to address the roofs at Nellie Bennett, the high school and middle school, then assorted boilers and heating and ventilation units.

The tax impact to the average Point Pleasant Boro taxpayer would be $81 more annually in school taxes, according to the district. The bonding would be repaid through debt service payments in the school budget, after the state’s 40 percent funding.

The school administration has prepared a referendum presentation, posted to its website, and has an email address to further respond to residents’ questions: referendum@pointpleasant.k12.nj.us 

Victor December 05, 2013 at 07:18 AM
here we go again............I know things need to be maintained but all roofs at the same time need to be done? Is the superintendents brother in law a roofer?lol
Da Poppa December 05, 2013 at 08:58 AM
Where's the regular maintenance in the current, on-going budget? Also, interestingly enough, is "The Panther" newsletter delivered at irregular times through the year - usually just before a school budget/referendum vote. No, sorry - it doesn't fly. Start putting regular maintenance line items in the budget, instead of socking it to the taxpayers, again.
Art Penrose December 05, 2013 at 10:31 AM
Someone please correct me if I am wrong, but if our State taxes are going to pay for 40 percent and we are borrowing $15.9 million, then the Point Pleasant Boro School District actually intends to spend over $25 million??
proud December 05, 2013 at 11:30 AM
I believe the State picks up forty percent of the debt service.
Victor December 05, 2013 at 11:32 AM
Art, that's just a drop in the bucket when it's not your money. Don't us taxpayers have unlimited funds to spend on the schools and the other ridiculous thoughtless projects we have going in town? these people are like the mafia, only the mafia is more ethical.
Christopher Goss December 05, 2013 at 03:57 PM
It is their money too. Many if not most of our teachers and professionals live in town and send their children to our schools, they pay the same increases. It's the money of the 5000+ residences in Pt Pleasant with school age children, and the families yet to send theirs to school. It's an investment in the children that will attend for years to come and they benefit they will bring to Pt Pleasant in the years after school, who may have families and businesses here someday themselves. And in the shrewdest sense, excellent schools are the #1 real estate attractor, investing in them is an investment not only in the value of our whole community but in the future value of your home. The State is funding 40% of the whole 15.9. Our schools only get about 15% of funding from the State, for all the money they take that never makes it back to our community here's an opportunity to get a little extra back and put it to good use, to offset money you'd just have to spend down the road. Is the alternative to see how far we can let things degrade until it's too late? Is that responsible stewardship? That mentality would do wonders for our community. Makes me wonder about the condition of your home, is this how you care for it as well?
A Resident December 05, 2013 at 05:14 PM
"And in the shrewdest sense, excellent schools are the #1 real estate attractor," - for the home shopper that has school age children. For retired people....they could care less about excellent schools.
Tom Szymanski December 05, 2013 at 06:16 PM
Nothing can change how we got here, all we can do is chart a course forward. Any idea how much ADDITIONAL water damage leaky roofs will cost us in the long run? Spend the money now or pay through the nose later when all the electrical and ceilings need to be re done. This is not the optimal solution, but the shortsightedness needs to stop
Victor December 05, 2013 at 06:38 PM
So in other words, they sold you and the Kool aids already gone down and our taxes will go up.
Art Penrose December 05, 2013 at 07:10 PM
I have a very modest house and already pay $229.50 per month in district school taxes alone. Between Superstorm Sandy's costs; the town raising our water and sewer rates, and the need for a new sewage pumping station; endless spending on things like recreation centers; etc.,etc. This spending never ends. And now, after insisting they need almost $200,000 to install a new lighting system for the football field, our wonderful school board needs another $16 million for "critical repairs"?? I swear, every time I turn around some administrator from this town keeps trying to get their hands down my pants and grab my last dollar. I've had enough of it. This time, "do it for the children" just doesn't cut it. It's time for the school board to sharpen it's pencil and start cutting some costs and "share the pain." Until then, I am voting NO!
Bill Borden December 05, 2013 at 08:55 PM
Most long-term NJ tax free bonds (maturing 2037-2042) are yielding about 4.7 - 5 percent, so this is one of the better times to issue a bond. A shorter term bond will have lower interest, but the annual payments will be higher. If rates rise, that could add to the borough's borrowing costs in the future and complicating the repairs when they may become more necessary. This is a link to recent municipal bond trades. http://newjersey.municipalbonds.com/bonds/recent/
Christine Russin-Daniel December 06, 2013 at 05:01 PM
I agree, this has to be done and now is the best time to do it.
Da Poppa December 07, 2013 at 10:02 AM
Goss, then our money is poorly spent. Paying tax dollars for good schools is one thing, but Point Pleasant Boro schools are consistently ranking in the lower third of schools in the state. And this has nothing to do with the quality of the education our schools oferr our children (which, by the way, is pretty crappy). This has everything to do with throwing good money after bad, poorly maintaining the school infrastructure, over paying administrators (see the state guidelines for superintendent salaries - ours is overpaid by approximately $50,000). We have a bloated administration bureaucracy, and a wasteful process to collect and spend money on education. The Bain of Common Core is on its way, and not even a peep from the board or administrators on this forthcoming educational nightmare. You want a good education for your child, move to the Beach. Or pay for it yourself. You are not, and with this current administration, never will get a good education in the Boro.
Victor December 07, 2013 at 10:19 AM
do we really need to pay a Superintendent over 200,000. a year? I thought there was a cap for them? How come we aren't playing by the rules? Maybe the state should audit us and find out why? Plus we have an assistant super and a business administrator making a pretty comfortable living off of us. Plus I'm sure that they have assistants. If we vote for them to spend more money before they get their own house in order then we are the fools.
Christopher Goss December 07, 2013 at 11:21 AM
Poppa, what is your source for the ranking? Everything I can find puts the Boro in the top 20%. I went to Catholic and private school and I am very comfortable with the level of education in our schools and I look forward to it continuing to improve. Motivated children with good support and resources will thrive and I believe in the Boro they do. This referendum isn't about any of your points, it's about maintaining what our money has already been invested in. I took my car to Eaglespeed this morning, but by the logic expressed here I should have waited till the oil ran dry. Don't confuse issues, if you want to see other kinds of changes you'll never affect them anonymously throwing half-truths from shadowy sidelines.
Da Poppa December 07, 2013 at 06:32 PM
Goss, you can try to dismiss my points, but my points are valid. The Boro school system ranks if not on the lower third, t certainly ranks in the lower half of schools in NJ: 154 out of 328: http://www.anateisenberg.com/files/400519/TopHighSchoolsChart.web%20(1).pdf Zillow shows Boro at a 6 on a scale from 1-10; the Beach, a 9. Top 20%? Not even close. NOT EVEN CLOSE! My statement to bottom third is way closer to the truth. Again, quality of the buildings does not make a great school district. Quality of EDUCATION makes a great school district. By that measure, Boro fails. A grade of 60% out of 100 is an "F" ... Unless you go to Boro, then it seems to be a "B".
Da Poppa December 07, 2013 at 06:35 PM
Oh, yeah, I cited my sources for the Boro school ranking. Now it's your turn - show me one that puts us in the top 20%.
proud December 07, 2013 at 06:38 PM
How about one Superintendent for the County with the entire barrier island a segment thereof.
Christopher Goss December 07, 2013 at 08:08 PM
District ranking 181 of 555 http://www.schooldigger.com/go/NJ/districtrank.aspx
Christopher Goss December 07, 2013 at 08:10 PM
Boro higher than beach in college readiness http://www.usnews.com/education/best-high-schools/new-jersey/rankings?name=Point+pleasant&schooltypepublic=y&schooltypemagnet=y&schooltypecharter=y
Christopher Goss December 07, 2013 at 08:13 PM
This is an interesting one that shows Boro trending positive and Beach trending negative despite the Beach being significantly more affluent http://www.nj.com/inside-jersey/index.ssf/2013/08/new_jerseys_top_performing_public_high_schools.html
Victor December 09, 2013 at 07:33 PM
at the rate are going we may as well send all the kids to the Peddie school or The Ranney school and get it over with.
Christopher Goss December 09, 2013 at 08:10 PM
According to Data Universe the Boro consistently spends almost 25% below the State average per pupil

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