CHATHAM, NJ - The Chatham Board of Education will introduce its preliminary budget for the 2017-2018 school year, which calls for a 3.09 percent increase in taxes at its open finance committee hearing set for 6:30 p.m. Monday and during its regular meeting, also Monday, March 6 at 7:30 p.m.

The total budget is $71.8 million with $62,007,960 to be raised by taxes, an increase of 3.09 percent above the current budget.

Included in the budget is the expenditure of $2.1 million in capital reserve funds to build a new building that will house the BOE administrative offices. The board currently rents space in the Chatham Township Municipal building at a rate of $60,000 per year.

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"The Board approves a Withdrawal from Capital Reserve and an Appropriation of Excess Surplus to be used for Construction of a New Central Office Building," according to the BOE agenda for the March 6 meeting.

Special Services is also housed in the municipal building after it was determined that the special service building on Lafayette Avenue had to be demolished because of termite infestation. The board is considering building new offices on the site of the special service building or behind the C gym at the high school.

The formal approval and public hearing of the budget is set for 7:30 p.m. May 1 in the Chatham Township Municipal Building.