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FAQs

 

C & MP

Capital & Maintenance Plan 

 

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Frequently Asked Questions

 

FAQs will be updated with new questions and answers periodically. If you have a question, please email us at camp@millburn.org
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS - January 27, 2020
 
question markIf the referendum is for $20M and you expect 40% in state aid, does that mean you are raising $28M? Your project list only totals $20M. Why not raise $15M and cover the difference with the state aid?
The state aid comes in the form of "debt relief" that is only available by financing through a bond referendum.  The district must get approval from the state for the full amount of the projects that are planned, and then the state approves the amount that will be "refunded" throughout the course of the loan.  So, the money is not given up front...taxpayers receive it in the form of a reduction in the tax amount over the course of the loan.
 
 

question markHow is this referendum different from 2006 and 2016? Is this in perpetuity? Will the public need to vote again in the future?

This is a new mindset based on maintaining flat debt levels. The current referendum would allow for maintaining a level debt service through 2025. If projects/facility needs warrant, then another referendum would take place for 2025 when the next set of bonds retire. The public will always need to approve the issuance of additional bonds.

 

By selling debt to provide for these projects, the district is eligible for state aid. State assistance isn’t available if the projects were funded through the operating budget.

 

 

question markWhy wasn’t this election held during the general election in November?

Timing on project approval from the state didn’t allow us to include on the November ballot. There are only four times a year when you can hold a special election. Holing the election in January allows the district ample time to go out to issue bonds and go out to bid on projects that will take place this summer.

 

question markHow much does it cost for a special election?

The cost of the special election is anticipated to run between $20,000 - $30,000. If we move forward with future referendum votes with this new mindset, we will plan the timing to try to include it on the November ballots.

 

question markWhen the BOE moved its elections to coincide with the November general election, was it promised that all future school-related elections would be held in November? 

No.  When the state gave districts the option to local school districts to hold their Board elections to November, approximately 98% of New Jersey school districts switched from the traditional April election date to November. When the State legislature put a 2% cap on both school and municipal budgets, the caveat was that no vote needed to be held on said budgets if the cap was maintained. 

When a town or school district found the need to exceed that 2% cap the amount in excess was to go to a public vote. (e.g. A 3% increase is necessary. 1% (the amount above the 2% cap) must go to a public vote.

 

question markWhat makes a bond referendum vote different from a November school board election?

The January 28 school referendum election IS NOT a school budget vote.  It is a vote to allow the district to sell bonds and incur debt.  This referendum is requesting that taxpayers approve the sale of bonds to fund capital and maintenance projects. The state  gives districts 5 specfic dates during the school year to hold special elections - January 28, 2020 was one of them

 

As explained above, the timing may depend on when the district receives approvals from the state, and other contingencies.

In the future, the district will make an effort to include special elections in conjunction with the November election.

 

 

question markWere all the projects from the 2016 referendum completed? I’ve heard that some restrooms were not completed.

Our architect completed 2 comprehensive reviews of the conditions of the restrooms in all of our schools.  Following those reviews, a set of restrooms for each school that were in the poorest condition was proposed for completion as part of the 2016 referendum.  To date all of these projects were completed at our schools.  When projects may have come under budget, we have been able to use remaining funds to make additional renovations of restrooms, that were in the next tier of restroom projects.

     

 

question markCan you let us know what the timelines are for the various projects?

  • The security vestibule projects will go out to bid in FebruaryMarch in order to complete them this summer.

 

  • The Cafeteria addition at the Middle School is on the schedule for Summer 2021.

 

  • Other infrastructure and maintenance projects will be done throughout the next 2+ years. Window repairs and replacements, as well as doors, can be done during the school year during afterschool hours or school breaks).

 

 

question markWhat maturity is the 20.5 million dollar bond?

It will likely be a 16-year bond, but that will be decided at the time of the bond sale (in February/March) depending on what is most advantageous in the market and for the district at that time.

 

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS - January 21, 2020

question markWhat are the detailed costs per specific project at each school, and a description of the work?

  •  $3.5 million in security vestibule upgrades, similar to the security vestibule at Washington School, at the remaining 7 schools, based on best practices suggested by the recent Security Audit.  The work varies by school to best utilize existing space wherever possible.  In order to create a security vestibule at Deerfield, a small addition is necessary.  At some schools, such as the Middle School, Glenwood, and South Mountain, reconfiguring of existing office space is necessary to allow for best practice implementation.

 

  • $4.1 million in middle school cafeteria expansion to allow for a full grade to be served at once, therefore eliminating the current practice of "auditorium time".  The expansion also includes renovations to the existing space and accessibility upgrades, specifically the addition of a new elevator allowing handicapped accessibility to all floors in the middle school, to comply with current ADA requirements.

 

  • $12.9 in infrastructure upgrades include roofing projects at Deerfield, Glenwood, Hartshorn and South Mountain Schools and the Middle School; window repairs and/or replacements at Washington School and Wyoming School; Exterior Door replacements at the High School; Masonry work at the Middle School; Masonry work and Stair replacement at Wyoming School, and HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning) work at the Middle School, High School and Hartshorn School.

 

 

question markWhy there is no ongoing reserving of funds for obvious inevitable maintenance. 

In addition to funding for ongoing maintenance needs in our annual operating budget, we also have reserve accounts for both maintenance and capital projects.  However, these reserve accounts are not large enough to address all of the needs of the district.  (Additional projects beyond the $20.5 million proposed are planned to be addressed through these reserve accounts including a replacement of the turf on Miller Field at the High School,  replacement and drainage work on the High School tennis courts,  repairs to the Middle School Pedestrian Bridge and multiple other smaller scaled projects.)   

 

Note that most of the projects anticipated to be financed through the reserve accounts would not be eligible for state aid through the referendum.  The majority of the projects recommended to be included in the referendum were eligible for state aid, meaning that up to 40% of the costs of the project will be reimbursed through state assistance in paying the debt.  This state assistance is only available through the issuance of debt.

 

 

question markPlease explain what you mean by 'no tax increase'? How do you expect to find the funds to service and pay off the bond? 

The financial approach is to issue new bonds as existing bonds mature, therefore keeping a relatively flat level of debt.  Maintaining a flat level of debt means relatively flat levels for the debt portion of annual taxes.  On the other hand, if we did not issue new bonds, the debt portion of the annual taxes would decrease as existing bonds mature.  The projected savings if we did not issue new bonds would be about $150 annually per avg assessed household ($1.2 million) or about $13 per month.  

 

 

question markDoes the district have a handle on the number of students it expects to enter the system as a result of all of the multi-family/affordable/other housing construction that will have to be built around town? Please explain how this has been incorporated into the needs analysis and what type of enrollment growth the district is assuming. What information have you gotten from the town on this matter? 

We are closely monitoring enrollments and are in communication with both the Township and the developers to obtain updated information as it becomes available. Projections are being done based on the number of units being created, but unfortunately we won’t have a true picture of the actual enrollment impact, especially which grades are impacted, until the units are opened.

 

Potential increases are taken into consideration in all budget and facility discussions. The purchase of the Washington School allowed us to move the 5th grade out of the elementary schools, creating capacity for the initial influx of students.

 

Part of the basis behind the C&MP financial mindset is the issuance of new bonds as existing bonds expire. This referendum is to issue bonds that will replace those that expire in 2021 and 2023. Another group of bonds expire in 2025. We purposely did not determine the projects to be included in that next referendum (and so did not include in this vote) specifically because of the potential need to address increasing enrollments and the impact on facilities. 

 

question markHas the BOE done an analysis of the operating expenses it expects to save by funding the projects in this manner? You note this as a major benefit of adopting this plan, but I see no forecast of avoided costs going forward or prospective returns on this investment. Please provide some additional clarity.

 It is difficult to put a specific number on the avoided costs. If we choose to not raise funds for capital projects we would need to delay addressing facility needs since the majority of our operating budget is budgeted for teaching staff. Traditionally, it is less expensive to plan ahead for maintenance then to deal with items in a reactionary manner. For instance, we know that we have some roofs that need to be replaced. We can avoid the expense of replacing a roof by ongoing patching as part of the maintenance budget. But at some point, the roof will need to be replaced and if it isn’t replaced until an emergency situation, then you lose the potential of bidding to receive lower pricing, you would likely be dealing with damage caused by leaks, may be dealing with mold-related issues related to leaks, and the repairs may need to take place in the middle of the school year leading to expenses related to relocating classes.

 

question markOne of the presentations implied that existing payments will be maintained at $2.1mm. Can you please elaborate on what is embedded in these figures? What cost of debt is the district assuming in this forecast? What is the current cost of our debt? If the debt is amortizing, it would be helpful if the district could differentiate between interest and principal amortization. 

The District is requesting authorization to issue $20.5 million in bonds. We won’t know the actual cost of the bonds until we go to market, but can only project the amortization schedule. The actual terms of the sale will be determined based on the market in order to reflect a similar annual obligation to the one expiring. The District’s current debt obligations are about $5.1 million for the 2019-20 school year (after state aid), with a total debt obligation of about $58.5 million including the current year, with a net obligation of about $46.9 million after state debt service aid. With obligations related to a 1995 bond sale expiring this year, as of next year, the District’s outstanding obligation would be $52.8 million, with the annual obligation, after state aid, falling from the $5.1 million to about $4.3 million. The issuance of an additional $20.5 million, while increasing the overall District’s debt to a projected $79.2 million next year (or $60.4 million after state aid), the annual obligation for 2020-21 school year is projected to be around the same $5.1 million after state aid.

 

(Projected amortization schedule for the bond sale of $20.5 million will cost the district about $26.3 million, or $5.8 million in interest over approximately 16 years. However, the estimated debt service aid expected from the state is about $7.5 million, slightly more than the interest cost of the principal.)

 

Slightly over one-third of the budget is directed at two projects, the MMS Cafeteria and the Security Vestibule. Please explain why the costs of these projects seem so high relative to the other initiatives that are noted in the presentation. Has the district fixed these costs? Who bears responsibility for any overruns?

 

The costs are estimates based on projections developed by our architects and project costs submitted, and approved, by the Department of Education. The projects will be awarded based on a competitive bidding process to obtain the best price as required by law. The Middle School Cafeteria project includes an addition to the building in as well as renovation of the existing space. The security vestibules include construction work at 7 buildings. The Deerfield project requires an addition and some of the other buildings require renovation of office space to allow for new configurations supporting the security vestibules. By nature of the scope of these projects, they are more expensive then many of the other projects like partial roof replacements and masonry repairs.

 

 

question markDr. Burton's October 28 presentation discussed the Security upgrades. However, the slides gave almost equal weighting to office upgrades at the schools. How are office upgrades related to security? Please explain how this entire project improves security. 

 

  • In order to create the security vestibules at some locations, offices need to be reconfigured to allow access and visibility to the entry areas. A security vestibule allows visitors to be buzzed in to complete simple business without actually entering the school building.  They can deliver papers, student materials and ask the office a question through a bulletproof teller/bank window.  If they have an appointment or reason to enter, they will sign in with their driver’s license and be issued a nametag, before being buzzed in through a second set of doors. Some of our school offices will undergo construction this summer to reconfigure them so that they have a teller window for the office staff to see who is entering the building.

  

question markWith regard to the MMS cafeteria, the rationale appears to be that it will allow more students to eat at the same time. As noted in my first question, please share the district's expectations for the number of students it expects to be enrolled at MMS as part of its needs analysis for this project. Will we be asked to fund future improvements at MMS if forecasts prove too conservative (low) with regard to the number of enrolled students?

 

We are closely monitoring the enrollment figures at all grade levels, including the middle school. Even without the new residential units in the township, we are experiencing increasing enrollments at the middle school level due to some of the larger grade cohorts now entering the middle school years. These increasing enrollments are putting a strain on the middle school space but fortunately with the recent addition of the new gymnasium, the creation of the innovative space, the renovation of the library and the planned addition to the cafeteria, we have gained some flexibility in use of space and scheduling considerations to accommodate the increasing enrollments. If it is necessary to again consider future additions at the middle school, we anticipate it would be to accommodate the larger enrollments in classroom spaces.  

question markDoes the budget include any consulting expenses? What is the term of the bond and what is the repayment source? From local taxation or state fund? 

The budget includes all costs associated with the construction projects including design and construction management costs as well as potential environmental costs, permit fees, and contingency expenses.

We won't know the term of the bond until we actually go to market.  Once the referendum is approved, we go through a bidding process in order to sell the bonds.  Around the time of the bid, we will determine what terms make the most sense based on the market at that time. 

Bonds are repaid through the debt service portion of our budget (which is outside the operating budget with the 2% cap).  We have some old debt expiring and we are looking to sell bonds to mirror similar annual payments so that the debt service portion of the taxes remain relatively flat.  However, up to 40% of eligible projects will receive state funding by selling bonds (it is the only way to currently receive state support for capital projects).

 

C & MP

Capital & Maintenance Plan 

 

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Frequently Asked Questions

 

question markI received an absentee ballot for the January 28 election. Please explain what this is about?

Please see the letter on the right for more information about the referendum. Explore this site for additional details.



question markWhat is a bond referendum?

 

A bond referendum is an election when a Board of Education seeks voters’ approval for funding to undertake capital improvement projects and to finance such projects through a longterm loan (a bond).

 

question markWhen is the bond referendum special election?

 

On January 28, 2020 there will be a Special Referendum Election to seek voter approval on a $20.5 million bond proposal. The bond sale will take place in February/March 2020 for construction to begin in summer 2020.



question markWhat is C&MP? Why do we need a bond referendum to fund these capital and maintenance projects?

 

The Capital and Maintenance Plan (C&MP) is the school district's long-term financial plan to provide for capital projects that are unable to be funded through the operating budget. Work and infrastructure continue to deteriorate as projects are postponed year after year, which ends up costing the district more through increases in the day to day maintenance and overall project/cumulative costs. It is a plan to finance reinvestment in District schools without increasing taxes. C&MP is a financial strategy to fund ongoing capital projects by issuing new bonds as existing debt expires, without increasing taxes.

  

question markHow was this decided?

 C&MP is a result of a board goal and a multi-year Board review of alternative funding methods for capital projects.   This is a mindset shift for the District’s project financing. The Finance and Building and Grounds have developed a robust longterm facilities plan and this will provide funding to fulfill those needs. Stakeholders - principals, parents, students, security experts, and our architects all had input on the facilities needs in our district.

 

question markDo other districts fund their projects this way?

Comparable districts who are successfully funding projects through refinancing of bonds are Princeton * New Providence * Lawrence Twp * Westfield * Randolph * Rumson-Fairhaven * South Orange-Maplewood

 

question markWhat are the advantages of funding capital and maintenance projects this way?

 

  • By funding through a referendum we have the opportunity to receive debt service aid from the state up to 40 cents on the dollar for eligible projects. These funds are only made available through issuing bonds, and is the only state aid currently available for facility projects. A majority of the projects have been approved by the NJDOE for debt service aid.
  • Bond rates are expected to remain at low levels so we anticipate getting a good rate on the bond sale.  

 



PROJECTS

 

question markWhat projects are being financed with referendum funding?

Proposed Capital Projects:

  • Security Vestibule Upgrades/Office Reconfigurations: High School / MiddleSchool / Deerfield /Glenwood / Hartshorn / South Mountain / Wyoming
  • New Cafeteria Addition: Middle School
  • Roof Replacements: Deerfield / Glenwood / Hartshorn / South Mountain
  • Window Repairs or Replacements: Wyoming / Washington
  • Exterior Door Replacements: High School
  • Stair Repairs:  Wyoming
  • Masonry Repairs, ADA Improvement: Middle School
  • HVAC/Roof Top Unit HVAC Replacements: High School / Middle School

 

 

question markWhat happens if the referendum doesn't pass? Will we be able to fund any of these projects?

If the referendum does not pass, we will have to scale back on some of the projects and try to find funds, over a longer period of time, to undertake them. There are some projects that we will probably not be able to fund, such as the Cafeteria addition and the vestibule addition at Deerfield.

 

 
 

 

question markIf the referendum passes, when will the MMS Cafeteria construction be complete? 

Construction of the cafeteria will begin in 2020, but will not be completed until the following summer, with the building opening in Fall 2021. 

 



question markOnce the cafeteria is built, will students still have to spend part of their lunch period in the auditorium?

 

The good news is the cafeteria addition will mean that students will no longer have to split their lunch period and sit in the auditorium. Students will have more time to eat and socialize with their classmates.



question markI understand that the district will not receive state aid for projects planned for Washington School? Why? Does that mean these projects will not take place?

 

We cannot get debt service aid for a building that has opened within the last 5 years. But, these important projects will still take place as part of C&MP. We will still pay for the Washington School windows and infrastructure projects with Referendum dollars.  

 




Funding/Finance Questions

 

question markIf you didn’t rollover the debt to purchase new bonds, but gave the money back to the taxpayers, how much would it be? 

 

Approximately $200 per million dollar assessed home value. 



question markIf the referendum passes and the work comes in under budget what happens to the difference? 

 

If the referendum passes and the work comes in under budget then the difference will be given back to the taxpayers through additional payments on the outstanding debt.

 

question markWhat are the detailed costs per specific project at each school, and a description of the work?

  •  $3.5 million in security vestibule upgrades, similar to the security vestibule at Washington School, at the remaining 7 schools, based on best practices suggested by the recent Security Audit.  The work varies by school to best utilize existing space wherever possible.  In order to create a security vestibule at Deerfield, a small addition is necessary.  At some schools, such as the Middle School, Glenwood, and South Mountain, reconfiguring of existing office space is necessary to allow for best practice implementation.

 

  • $4.1 million in middle school cafeteria expansion to allow for a full grade to be served at once, therefore eliminating the current practice of "auditorium time".  The expansion also includes renovations to the existing space and accessibility upgrades, specifically the addition of a new elevator allowing handicapped accessibility to all floors in the middle school, to comply with current ADA requirements.

 

  • $12.9 in infrastructure upgrades include roofing projects at Deerfield, Glenwood, Hartshorn and South Mountain Schools and the Middle School; window repairs and/or replacements at Washington School and Wyoming School; Exterior Door replacements at the High School; Masonry work at the Middle School; Masonry work and Stair replacement at Wyoming School, and HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning) work at the Middle School, High School and Hartshorn School.

 

 

question markWhy there is no ongoing reserving of funds for obvious inevitable maintenance. 

In addition to funding for ongoing maintenance needs in our annual operating budget, we also have reserve accounts for both maintenance and capital projects.  However, these reserve accounts are not large enough to address all of the needs of the district.  (Additional projects beyond the $20.5 million proposed are planned to be addressed through these reserve accounts including a replacement of the turf on Miller Field at the High School,  replacement and drainage work on the High School tennis courts,  repairs to the Middle School Pedestrian Bridge and multiple other smaller scaled projects.)   

 

Note that most of the projects anticipated to be financed through the reserve accounts would not be eligible for state aid through the referendum.  The majority of the projects recommended to be included in the referendum were eligible for state aid, meaning that up to 40% of the costs of the project will be reimbursed through state assistance in paying the debt.  This state assistance is only available through the issuance of debt.

 

 

question markPlease explain what you mean by 'no tax increase'? How do you expect to find the funds to service and pay off the bond? 

The financial approach is to issue new bonds as existing bonds mature, therefore keeping a relatively flat level of debt.  Maintaining a flat level of debt means relatively flat levels for the debt portion of annual taxes.  On the other hand, if we did not issue new bonds, the debt portion of the annual taxes would decrease as existing bonds mature.  The projected savings if we did not issue new bonds would be about $150 annually per avg assessed household ($1.2 million) or about $13 per month.  

 

 

question markDoes the district have a handle on the number of students it expects to enter the system as a result of all of the multi-family/affordable/other housing construction that will have to be built around town? Please explain how this has been incorporated into the needs analysis and what type of enrollment growth the district is assuming. What information have you gotten from the town on this matter? 

We are closely monitoring enrollments and are in communication with both the Township and the developers to obtain updated information as it becomes available. Projections are being done based on the number of units being created, but unfortunately we won’t have a true picture of the actual enrollment impact, especially which grades are impacted, until the units are opened.

 

Potential increases are taken into consideration in all budget and facility discussions. The purchase of the Washington School allowed us to move the 5th grade out of the elementary schools, creating capacity for the initial influx of students.

 

Part of the basis behind the C&MP financial mindset is the issuance of new bonds as existing bonds expire. This referendum is to issue bonds that will replace those that expire in 2021 and 2023. Another group of bonds expire in 2025. We purposely did not determine the projects to be included in that next referendum (and so did not include in this vote) specifically because of the potential need to address increasing enrollments and the impact on facilities. 

 

question markHas the BOE done an analysis of the operating expenses it expects to save by funding the projects in this manner? You note this as a major benefit of adopting this plan, but I see no forecast of avoided costs going forward or prospective returns on this investment. Please provide some additional clarity.

 It is difficult to put a specific number on the avoided costs. If we choose to not raise funds for capital projects we would need to delay addressing facility needs since the majority of our operating budget is budgeted for teaching staff. Traditionally, it is less expensive to plan ahead for maintenance then to deal with items in a reactionary manner. For instance, we know that we have some roofs that need to be replaced. We can avoid the expense of replacing a roof by ongoing patching as part of the maintenance budget. But at some point, the roof will need to be replaced and if it isn’t replaced until an emergency situation, then you lose the potential of bidding to receive lower pricing, you would likely be dealing with damage caused by leaks, may be dealing with mold-related issues related to leaks, and the repairs may need to take place in the middle of the school year leading to expenses related to relocating classes.

 

question markOne of the presentations implied that existing payments will be maintained at $2.1mm. Can you please elaborate on what is embedded in these figures? What cost of debt is the district assuming in this forecast? What is the current cost of our debt? If the debt is amortizing, it would be helpful if the district could differentiate between interest and principal amortization. 

The District is requesting authorization to issue $20.5 million in bonds. We won’t know the actual cost of the bonds until we go to market, but can only project the amortization schedule. The actual terms of the sale will be determined based on the market in order to reflect a similar annual obligation to the one expiring. The District’s current debt obligations are about $5.1 million for the 2019-20 school year (after state aid), with a total debt obligation of about $58.5 million including the current year, with a net obligation of about $46.9 million after state debt service aid. With obligations related to a 1995 bond sale expiring this year, as of next year, the District’s outstanding obligation would be $52.8 million, with the annual obligation, after state aid, falling from the $5.1 million to about $4.3 million. The issuance of an additional $20.5 million, while increasing the overall District’s debt to a projected $79.2 million next year (or $60.4 million after state aid), the annual obligation for 2020-21 school year is projected to be around the same $5.1 million after state aid.

 

(Projected amortization schedule for the bond sale of $20.5 million will cost the district about $26.3 million, or $5.8 million in interest over approximately 16 years. However, the estimated debt service aid expected from the state is about $7.5 million, slightly more than the interest cost of the principal.)

 

Slightly over one-third of the budget is directed at two projects, the MMS Cafeteria and the Security Vestibule. Please explain why the costs of these projects seem so high relative to the other initiatives that are noted in the presentation. Has the district fixed these costs? Who bears responsibility for any overruns?

 

The costs are estimates based on projections developed by our architects and project costs submitted, and approved, by the Department of Education. The projects will be awarded based on a competitive bidding process to obtain the best price as required by law. The Middle School Cafeteria project includes an addition to the building in as well as renovation of the existing space. The security vestibules include construction work at 7 buildings. The Deerfield project requires an addition and some of the other buildings require renovation of office space to allow for new configurations supporting the security vestibules. By nature of the scope of these projects, they are more expensive then many of the other projects like partial roof replacements and masonry repairs.

 

 

question markDr. Burton's October 28 presentation discussed the Security upgrades. However, the slides gave almost equal weighting to office upgrades at the schools. How are office upgrades related to security? Please explain how this entire project improves security. 

 

  • In order to create the security vestibules at some locations, offices need to be reconfigured to allow access and visibility to the entry areas. A security vestibule allows visitors to be buzzed in to complete simple business without actually entering the school building.  They can deliver papers, student materials and ask the office a question through a bulletproof teller/bank window.  If they have an appointment or reason to enter, they will sign in with their driver’s license and be issued a nametag, before being buzzed in through a second set of doors. Some of our school offices will undergo construction this summer to reconfigure them so that they have a teller window for the office staff to see who is entering the building.

  

question markWith regard to the MMS cafeteria, the rationale appears to be that it will allow more students to eat at the same time. As noted in my first question, please share the district's expectations for the number of students it expects to be enrolled at MMS as part of its needs analysis for this project. Will we be asked to fund future improvements at MMS if forecasts prove too conservative (low) with regard to the number of enrolled students?

 

We are closely monitoring the enrollment figures at all grade levels, including the middle school. Even without the new residential units in the township, we are experiencing increasing enrollments at the middle school level due to some of the larger grade cohorts now entering the middle school years. These increasing enrollments are putting a strain on the middle school space but fortunately with the recent addition of the new gymnasium, the creation of the innovative space, the renovation of the library and the planned addition to the cafeteria, we have gained some flexibility in use of space and scheduling considerations to accommodate the increasing enrollments. If it is necessary to again consider future additions at the middle school, we anticipate it would be to accommodate the larger enrollments in classroom spaces.  

question markDoes the budget include any consulting expenses? What is the term of the bond and what is the repayment source? From local taxation or state fund? 

The budget includes all costs associated with the construction projects including design and construction management costs as well as potential environmental costs, permit fees, and contingency expenses.

We won't know the term of the bond until we actually go to market.  Once the referendum is approved, we go through a bidding process in order to sell the bonds.  Around the time of the bid, we will determine what terms make the most sense based on the market at that time. 

Bonds are repaid through the debt service portion of our budget (which is outside the operating budget with the 2% cap).  We have some old debt expiring and we are looking to sell bonds to mirror similar annual payments so that the debt service portion of the taxes remain relatively flat.  However, up to 40% of eligible projects will receive state funding by selling bonds (it is the only way to currently receive state support for capital projects).

 

 

 

question markWhat happens if C&MP doesn’t pass?

 

The district will have to attempt to find alternative solutions to address repair/replacement of major systems.  However, as indicated above, the annual budget does not allow for addressing these or other facility concerns. The district may have to defer replacement or repair of systems and return to a cycle of delaying important projects. By having a long-term plan we can address these issues now through the referendum.  The issuance of bonds allows the district to capitalize on the debt service aid funding of up to 40% of eligible costs. 

 

question markDoes this mean we won’t have any more referendums in the future?

 

No, C&MP is a mindset shift to allow for periodic bond referendums to maintain a relatively stable debt level as existing debt matures. This special election means there will not be another C&MP referendum until the next debt maturity (2025).

 


VOTER INFORMATION:

question markWhy is the vote on January 28, 2020?


January 28 is one of five dates during the year when school boards may ask voters to approve school construction proposals. It is the earliest date the district In order to begin construction projects in Summer 2020, with a successful January vote we will be able to sell bonds and get construction bids in Winter/Spring 2020 to get the projects underway by the end of June. 

 

 

question markWho is eligible to vote on the referendum?

Anyone who is registered to vote in Millburn can vote on the referendum on January 28, 2019. To register to vote you must submit a Voter Registration Form on or before 21 days before the election (January 7, 2020). 

Get voter registration information here.



question markCan I vote by mail or do I have to go to the polls?

Yes, you can vote by mail in any election in New Jersey.  If you have voted by mail in the past, you will automatically receive a mail-in ballot for this election.  If you would like to apply to vote by mail in this election, you must submit your application by mail by January 21st, or in person by January 27.

Get Vote by Mail information here.