SPOTSWOOD/HELMETTA, NJ - It was a quiet Election Day on the local fronts for both Spotswood and Helmetta. Bertrand Louis retained his seat on the Spotswood Board of Education. Louis was running unopposed for the seat.
Republican Noreen Carolan-Genthie and Joseph J. Perez won the open seats on the Helmetta Borough Council. The pair were running unopposed for the council seats.
In the public question portion of the ballot, the Library Construction Bond Referendum passed, allowing the state to issue $125 million in bonds. The passage will allow local libraries like the Spotswood Public Library make repairs, renovations and upgrades, by paying only 50 percent of the cost. The other half of the funding will come from grants that the libraries will have to apply for now that the Library Construction Bond Referendum was approved by voters.
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"If the bond passes, the Spotswood Public Library would be able to apply for a grant to cover 50 percent of the cost of any building or renovation projects," said Spotswood Public Library Director C.L. Quillen. "While we have done a number of things to update and improve the library over the past few years, there are several things that still need to be done, including electrical upgrades. When the library was built in 1973, there was not the same need for power that there is now and the grant would help us improve in that area. We were also the recipient of a grant in 2017 that covered the cost of consultants to assess the library and make recommendations for renovations and improvements. Based on their recommendations, we are currently evaluating a plan to move the children's section of the library, add some computers for children and make a few other changes to improve the usability of the library."
The other public question on the ballot this year passed as well. Its passage will prevent lawmakers from utilizing funds designated for environmental cleanup for other purposes.
Sixty percent of New Jersey residents voted in favor of the Library Construction Bond Act while 69 percent voted to amend the state's constitution to keep lawmakers from diverting environmental funds meant to restore water and land impacted by pollution.