Allendale May 20, 2009 THE VILLADOM TIMES III • Page 11 Council recommends cuts for school budgets by John Koster The Allendale Council had recommended the elimination of $520,000 from the defeated budget of Northern Highlands Regional High School – and rebutted allegations that the governing body had demanded the elimination of boys’ and girls’ freshman lacrosse. “The boys’ and girls’ lacrosse was not discussed,” Mayor Vince Barra said at last week’s public meeting. Budget cuts were also recommended for the K-8 Allendale school budget, which failed at the polls by only a few votes. The failure of both school budgets in the April 21 election was almost unprecedented in Allendale and in the Northern Highlands district. After conferring with the board of education trustees and the Upper Saddle River Council, the Allendale council recommended the following cuts for Highlands: Elimination of the proposed purchase of a school bus, saving $75,000; reduction of cleaning, repair and Borough sells housing site for $500,000 The Allendale Council voted last week to sell the quadrant of Orchard Commons approved for special needs housing to Allendale Housing for $500,000, providing a location for affordable housing in the borough and an increment in the fund to acquire the rest of the 3.4-acre site as a passive park with no burden on local taxpayers. Allendale Housing is a non-profit corporation organized to provide affordable and supportive housing to persons who could not afford housing without assistance, under the guidelines of the New Jersey Council on Affordable Housing. COAH has praised Allendale for locating its affordable housing component within the borough’s borders and at a location where shopping for food and other essentials is readily accessible. The sale marks the culmination of a struggle to save the Orchard Commons site from development into 24 condominiums in eight clustered buildings . Councilman Jim Strauch launched a campaign to have residents donate $1,000 to purchase and preserve the land, and Mayor Vince Barra and members of the council joined in to work out a consortium of state and county donors who supplied Allendale with enough money to buy the land from owner Ramon Alvarez. The prior owner offered favorable conditions and ultimately donated the gate to the park, where the final wave of plantings will begin this week. Barra said the creation of the park was made possible, along with other savings and benefits, by the entire council and borough administration. “It’s been mind-boggling to me,” Barra said. “The people of this town are blessed with an incredibly hardworking and effective council, and I am blessed.” J. KOSTER maintenance services, saving $25,000; elimination of the installation of a new telephone system, saving $100,000; eliminating the position of a student activities coordinator, saving $70,000; reduction of the purchase of supplies by $50,000; reduction in the purchase of textbooks by $50,000. The mayor and council independently identified what they felt was a surplus in the operating budget account and urged elimination of $150,000. The K-8 school budget cuts included: Reduction of $30,000 for the purchase of textbooks; reduction of $40,000 for the salaries of central services; reduction of $16,000 in expenses for use of the school’s energy plant; the elimination of Smart Boards at a saving of $34,000; and a reduction of $100,000 in the proposed increase in the capital reserve. Spring Is Here! SPRING LANDSCAPE PROJECTS Now is the right time to start plans on your ����������������� ������������������ ������������������������ ���������������� ����������������� ������������������ ��������������� ��������������� �������������������� ���������������� Non-Medical Home Care Services ������������������ ��������������������� ������������������� ��������� �������������� �������������� ��������������� �������� �������� ���������� �������� ��������������� ���������������������� � ����������� �������� � ���������� FREE No Obligation Est. & Design ����������� Weeping Pine Nursery ������������������������� ������������ 345 Route 17 South • Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458 • 1-201-962-3222 ComForcare Services For Peace of Mind Call Today Back Yard Pool Program ® Ridgewood YMCA Ages 3-Adults • Co-Ed June 22-August 21 ������������� �������������������� ����������������������� ����������������������� ��������������� • • • • • June 22-July 3 July 6-17 July 20-31 August 3-14 August 17-21* � � ����������������������� ��������������� �������������� �������������� ������������� ������������ Registration is on-going. Contact Janet Oliver, ext. 304