Franklin Lakes September 16, 2009 THE VILLADOM TIMES I • Page 7 School board drops solar panel referendum by Frank J. McMahon The Franklin Lakes Board of Education has decided not to seek voters’ approval of the cost of installing solar panels on all the district’s schools, but the board will proceed with a Sept. 29 referendum seeking approval of funding for other capital projects. The board voted 4-1 against proceeding with the solar panel referendum with five members present at a recent public meeting. Trustee Carolyn Reitz voted to place the funding on the referendum, but Board President Carmen Monte and trustees Joseph Conti, Margaret Bennett, and Deborah Taylor voted against it. Solokas said the board members who voted against the solar panel question felt it was a difficult economic climate for such a referendum, and it could negatively affect the potential approval of the other capital improvements. He said the trustees preferred to focus on the necessities in the other capital referendum to fund roof repairs and boiler replacement. In addition, he said Conti was not convinced of the safety of putting the solar panels on schools. The solar panel project would have involved a $2.9 million expenditure to install solar panels at the Woodside Avenue, High Mountain Road, and Colonial Road elementary schools and at the Franklin Avenue Middle School, with 40 percent of the cost, representing debt service, to be absorbed by the New Jersey Department of Education. The solar panels were expected to provide the school district with energy savings over the years. The board, however, voted unanimously in favor of a referendum to obtain voters’ approval of a $1,327,900 expenditure for capital improvement projects that were not included in the school district’s last spending plan due to budgetary constraints. The capital improvement projects would include roof repairs at the Franklin Avenue Middle School primarily, new boilers for the Woodside Avenue School, a new security key system for three of the schools, and renovated locker rooms and bathrooms at the middle school. Solokas advised that the new boilers are needed because the existing ones at the Woodside Avenue School are old and inefficient, and the new security system is needed to allow teachers to lock their classrooms from the inside, if an intruder enters the schools. If the referendum is approved by the voters, 40 percent of the cost of the capital improvement projects, or $531,160, would come in the form of aid from the New Jersey Department of Education. Valley Hospital Auxiliary plans events The Franklin Lakes Branch of the Valley Hospital Auxiliary will hold a Welcome Back meeting on Monday, Sept. 21. The Monday, Oct. 19 meeting will feature Sue Kelly, president of The Valley Hospital Auxiliary. She will speak on the Hospital Renewal Update. Both meetings begin at 10:30 a.m. in the Franklin Lakes Library located on DeKorte Drive. Coffee will be served at these morning meetings, which are open to the public. Other upcoming events for the group are: a theater outing to New York City to see “West Side Story” on Wednesday, Sept. 23. A brunch/ pre-holiday shopping fundraiser will be held on Thursday, Nov. 12 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Indian Trail Club, in Franklin Lakes. On Wednesday, Dec. 2 a Holiday Luncheon will be held at the North Jersey Country Club in Wayne. For additional information, call Eileen Leone at (201) 848-9330 or Ann Swist at (201) 337-7262. In Home PERSONAL TRAINING • Flexible Scheduling • Nutrition Guidance • Sports Specific Training • Men, Women, Children & Couples Chiropractic Wellness Center It’s Chiropractic’s 114th Birthday! 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