April 16, 2014

 

November 7, 2013

 

On behalf of the Westfield Board of Education, I want to thank the residents of Westfield for your approval on November 5th of the school bond referendum that will allow us to complete our school roof projects at a lower cost to taxpayers. With your approval, we are now able to accept $2.7 million in state aid for the projects, which directly reduces local taxes needed for the projects.  As we have previously mentioned, residents of Westfield already approved all of the roof projects last year, but state aid was not available at that time.  Your approval on November 5th has allowed us to take advantage of a subsequent change in State aid for project funding.  Thank you.

 

I also want to thank Brendan Galligan, Ginny Leiz and Mitch Slater for their continued service on the Westfield Board of Education.  With their re-election on November 5th, we are fortunate to now have them serving the school system and all of our 6,200 students for additional three year terms.


Rich Mattessich
President, Westfield Board of Education


Bond Referendum Approved by Westfield Voters
Yes: 6229
No: 1529

 

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HOW TO REDUCE WESTFIELD TAXES BY $2.7 MILLION

Westfield School Roof Projects Now Eligible for
$2.7 Million in State Grant

State Requires Voter Acceptance of Grant through
Bond Referendum
Public Question #3

Tuesday, November 5, 2013
Polls Open 6 AM - 8 PM

 

CLICK HERE FOR QUICK NEW INFORMATION VIDEO

Q. Since the school roof projects already were approved by Westfield
   voters in a December 2012 bond, why a REPLACEMENT bond on
November 5, 2013?

A. So that Westfield residents can reduce their tax obligation by
  $2.7 million on the school roof project. 

  The project already had been approved by voters in a December 12, 
  2012 bond referendum, but without state aid.  Aid had not been
  available for years.  State aid applications became available this May,
  and Westfield successfully applied for the State grant on the roofs
  scheduled for repair next summer.

 
This aid would directly result in a $2.7 million reduction in
 Westfield taxes over the life of the bond. However, it is not
 automatic.


 The State requires the approval by voters of the grant, which will
  appear in the form of a replacement bond referendum on the
  November 5, 2013 ballot.  It will
SUPERSEDE the one passed in
  December 2012. It is NOT an additional bond.

There is no additional roofing work or any other projects added to the
   November 2013 bond referendum. Nothing is added. It simply
represents aid from the State and a reduction in taxes for Westfield
residents.


 Q. What will happen if the replacement bond is NOT approved by
   Westfield voters?


  A. Westfield will lose the $2.7 million grant opportunity for the roofing work, and
   the
previously passed referendum (December 2012) will remain in 
effect. The roofs will still be repaired -- but without state aid and at no
reduction in taxes.



  Q. Will Westfield residents have to pay more for the roof projects and be
   taxed more ifthe replacement bond passes?

A. No. If voters pass the November 5 referendum, they are in essence
  accepting the state grant, which will result in a reduction in taxes of
  $2.7 million. The school district would not be receiving any more than
 what the projects cost.
 
  Of the original $13.6 million bond that voters approved in the
 December 2012 referendum, the school district has issued $6.916
  million so far to fund the roof work accomplished this summer (2013).
  Westfield will pay off that initial issuance in full. That leaves an amount
  still to be issued of $6.684 million to fund the remaining roof 
  work that will be done next summer (2014). This is the amount that
  will be on the November 5, 2013 ballot. Voters’ approval of the
  replacement referendum on the November 5 ballot will mean that the
    State grant will cover 40% of the remaining $6.684 million bond,
  resulting in $2.7 million in tax reduction over the life of the bond.

 

Q. If I am not going to be in town on November 5, can I receive an absentee ballot?

A. Yes. The county has a website for Voting by Mail at
http://ucnj.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/vote-mail-ballot-012712-
uni.pdf


Voter registration information is posted at:
http://ucnj.org/government/county-clerk/county-clerk-services/voter-registration

Q. Which roof projects are approved for the new state aid?

A. Scheduled for the summer of 2014 are: Edison Intermediate School; 
 Lincoln School; Franklin, Jefferson, McKinley, Tamaques, and Wilson
Elementary Schools; Elm StreetAdministration building; and the
Kehler field house.

Q. What roof projects are nearing completion now?

A. Roof work began this summer on Westfield High School, Roosevelt
Intermediate School, and Washington Elementary School.



 
Q. Why is roof work being done?


 A. The school district’s buildings average 70 years in age. The majority
  of roofs – which have undergone regular maintenance and repair,
  average more than 20 years old and need to be replaced due to active
 leaks and deteriorating conditions that compromise both
  infrastructure and safety. A bond referendum is the means by 
   which school districts fund long term capital projects. 
 

Q. How do I contact the Board of Education with any further questions?

 A. All members of the Board of Education and Superintendent of Schools,
  Dr. Margaret Dolan, can be contacted at
wboe@westfieldnjk12.org.

 

Q.  Where will the referendum appear on the November 5th ballot?

 

A.  It will be the 3rd public question on the ballot.  Click here to read the
 school referendum in its entirety.