Ridgewood November 11, 2009 THE VILLADOM TIMES II • Page 5 School board plans $48 million bond referendum by John Koster Ridgewood Superintendent of Schools Dr. Daniel Fishbein recently introduced the Ridgewood Village Council to a $48,265,314 bond referendum for school expansion and renovation that will be presented to voters on Dec. 8. Dr. Fishbein said that, once state grants now available 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 the average village home. Councilwoman Anne Zusy, who questioned the timing of a referendum of this size considering the uncertain economy, asked Village Clerk Heather Mailander to offer some projections for the 2010 municipal taxes. Mailander, citing information from Chief Financial Officer Dorothy Stikna, said that state mandates, insurance costs, and other non-optional increases have already added an estimated $307 increase to the projected 2010 taxes, and that the Ridgewood Water Company is also expected to increase water bills by 21 percent. Councilman Paul Aronsohn also asked why the referendum was being held at this time. Dr. Fishbein said 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. “Our youngest schools are 43 years old and in need of repairs,” Dr. Fishbein said. 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. The 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. 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. Chiropractic Wellness Center “All the drugs in the world cannot adjust a sublixated vertebrae” – BJ Palmer Are you stiff and sore from Yard Work? Chiropractic can help! Full Exam & X-Rays Normally $260.00 (Includes necessary x-rays) $35.00 ��������������� ������������������������ ������������������ ��������������������������������������� ������������������� �������������������� ������������������� ��������������������������������������� ������������������������ ���������������������� ���������� ��������������������������� HEARING AIDS � Get the Right Information in a Private Consultation � Have a Complimentary Hearing Evaluation � FREE Hearing Aid Trial 2 Locations Glen Rock & Passaic PASSAIC LOCATION NOW OPEN SUNDAYS! We Offer Line Of Credits And Financing Plans Call for Your Appointment 201-934-7755 www.HearNJ.com ADVANCED HEARING SERVICES, INC. 119 Interstate Shopping Center, Ramsey, New Jersey Intersection of Route 17 & Franklin Turnpike Supervising Licence. NJ Hearing Aid Dispenser * Licence # 743 201.345-5621 Thomas J. Higgins, BC-HIS*, ACA** *Board Certified by the National Board for Certification in Hearing Instrument Sciences. **American Conference of Audioprosthology