Ridgewood December 9, 2009 THE VILLADOM TIMES II • Page 3 Voters to decide on $48 million bond referendum by John Koster This week (Tuesday, Dec. 8), Ridgewood voters are being asked to cast their ballots on a $48,265,314 bond referendum that would, if approved, fund expansions and renovations at the district’s public schools. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. In a recent presentation to the village council, Ridgewood Superintendent of Schools Dr. Daniel Fishbein said that, once state grants are received, the actual cost to Ridgewood taxpayers would be $38,420,602, which would translate to an additional $301 a year in property taxes on a home with the village’s average assessed value. During his presentation to the council, some village officials questioned the timing of the referendum. Dr. Fishbein responded that the school population has increased by 560 students over the past decade, and that the aging buildings are in need of renovation and some expansion. He also said the chance for $9,844,712 in state aid had recently become available and the district had to act quickly to avoid the risk of losing the money. The district’s newest schools are 43 years old and in need of repairs, according to Dr. Fishbein. He said that several schools were in need of asbestos abatement. Most of the renovations listed in the presentation included upgrades of bathrooms, lockers, and the heating and air conditioning systems. The estimated costs would cover expansion at four schools and renovations at all 10. Expansions would cost $5,094,696 at Ridge School, which would receive five new classrooms and an art studio; $5,188,333 at Willard School, which would cover seven new classrooms, a new computer room, a resource center, and a nurse’s office; $9,594,243 at the George Washington Middle School, where plans call for five new classrooms and a new computer room, library, and gymnasium; and $3,625,728 at the Hawes School, where five new classrooms would be built. Renovations would cost $10,835,213 at Ridgewood High School, $1,022,291 at Somerville, $1,343,766 at Travell, $816,547 at Benjamin Franklin Middle School, $1,825,978 at Hawes, $241,106 at Ridge, $2,177,145 at Willard, $1,078,978 at George Washington, and $25,718 at Orchard. A cost of $5,393,059 has been earmarked for upgrades to the schools’ athletic fields and tracks. The district expects a return of $2,135,471 for this part of the project. During the superintendent’s presentation to the governing body, Councilman Patrick Mancuso asked if the board had considered bringing the Glen School – now used for special education only -- back into the loop as a regular school. Dr. Fishbein said the use of the Glen School for at-risk pre-kindergarten and the K-5 special education students would be compromised by using the school to house and teach mainstream students. He also said that the $2 million the schools set aside for capital improvements would not allow them to keep up with the need for renovation and expansion. The Ridgewood Police Department has recovered $1,300 in cash reportedly taken from the console of a car being parked by a valet at Valley Hospital. On Nov. 25, a Wyckoff resident reported that he had his car valet parked at Valley Hospital and found that when he returned, $1,300 he had left in the console of the car had vanished. The employee of the valet parking com- Cash taken from car recovered ������������������������������ ������������������������������������������� ��������������������������������������������������� ������������������������������������������������������� ������������������������������������������������������������������������� ���������� ������������������������� pany was confronted, and the money was returned. Police are investigating. In a separate incident, a Valley Hospital employee who works at a building at 555 Route 17 reported that her wallet and iPhone were stolen from the building after she heard someone running down the hall. She checked her desk and the telephone and wallet had vanished. Police are investigating this incident. ����������������������������� ��������������������������������������������������� ������������������������������������������������������������������� ������������ ��������������������������� ����������� ����������������������