MILLBURN, NJ - With just over two months to go before Millburn Township votes on a new budget referendum, the members of the Millburn BOE have held several presentations for residents explaining the ins and outs of their proposal.
The plan involves financing a new series of bonds known as the Capital & Maintenance Plan (C&MP), totaling $20,500,000 that will kick into effect as the financing on the expiring set of current bonds is paid down. The bonds would be used for a variety of capital improvement projects throughout the district.
In an email to TAPinto BOE member Emily Jaffe Explained what C&MP is, breaking down the main points;
"C&MP is a long-term capital financial strategy to provide for much-needed District capital maintenance projects that cannot be funded through the District’s operating budget (without reappropriating funds from other areas)," Jaffe said. "The plan involves issuing new bonds as existing bonds mature while keeping Debt Service (tax revenue directed to cover the repayment of interest and principal) flat."
One major funding need for the district centers around security upgrades in all district schools. The main upgrade would be including a security vestibule and double doors like the ones at Washington School. That particular feature is not installed at any other building in the district.
"As a best practice, you should have double set of doors that you buzz someone in," Superintendent Dr. Christine Burton said. "You check as to wether there's any concern about them being in your building around the district. We're actually doing it [in the ed center] as well. As a result of the security audit, that becomes a project."
The main cost of the bonds however would go towards infrastructure improvements. Many of the school buildings in the district are several decades old, and as a result, need upkeep.
As Burton noted, the funding for maintenance is the same thing as a homeowner replacing windows and doors in an aging house, and is something that the district needs to do.