RANDOLPH, NJ – Sheldon Epstein, Chair of the Finance, Facilities and Transportation (FFT) Committee for the Board of Education presented the 2016-2017 budget at the Town Council Meeting on Thursday.

The budget will cause a 1.18% increase in property tax, allowing for an $86.7 million program and instruction budget. This 1.18% increase equals approximately $99 increase on taxes for the average home in Randolph Township, according to the board and town council.

Superintendent Jennifer Fano detailed the highlights and facility updates included in this budget.

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“The transition room is available for students through age 21 to teach life skills,” Fano said. “This benefits not only our students, but helps other students in the future and students outside of our district. It is an extension of a project we were already committed to.”

“We also have a focus and goal for professional development,” Fano said. “Through Instructional Coaching, we invest more professional development in our teachers to ensure the highest caliber of education.”

Click here to view the tentative budget, process and presentations.

During the Manager’s Report, Town Manager Stephen Mountain provided an update on the A&P Plaza development.

“Unfortunately negotiations with the chain have reached an impasse on numbers,” Mountain said. “We have reopened advertisements at large for grocers. We remain hopeful, but cannot give an estimate on when we’ll receive a tenant.”

The council introduced four ordinances to begin capital improvement projects within the township. Ordinance 14-16 detailed the list of streets involved in the 2016 Road Overlay Program. Mountain explained some changes to the original proposed list.

“We will defer Irish Spring Road and Trowbridge Drive until 2017,” Mountain said. After review of the streets, these two require more reconstruction work, instead of the overlay initially expected, he explained.

Work has already begun on the Overlay Program.

“I gave instruction to public works to begin raising manholes due to the massive amount of roadway we’re repaving,” Mountain said.