Voters reject Greater Egg school projects

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Voters in three of the four municipalities in the Greater Egg Harbor Regional High School District voted overwhelmingly Tuesday, March 11 to defeat a proposed $37 million school renovation bond referendum.

Only in Hamilton Township, the home of Oakcrest High School, which would have been the beneficiary of most of the improvements, did the proposal pass. But it was not nearly enough to overcome the numbers from the other three municipalities.

According to district business administrator Charles Muller, voters in Hamilton Township voted 582-395 to support the project.

Egg Harbor City and Mullica Township voters, whose students attend Cedar Creek High School, which stood to benefit the least from the project, turned it down by a vote of 29 in favor and 118 against in Egg Harbor City, and 70-166 in Mullica.

The proposal also went down in Galloway Township, home of Absegami High School, with 439 voting in favor and 781 against. Unofficial absentee ballots were 91 for and 118 against.

Had the referendum passed, the tax rate would have risen 2.5 cents per $100 of assessed value on a property in Egg Harbor City, 2.1 cents in Galloway, 2.2 cents in Hamilton Township and 3.6 cents in Mullica Township.

The owner of a home assessed at $100,000 would have paid $25 a year more in Egg Harbor City for grades nine-12 education for a total of $568, $21 more in Galloway or a total of $491, $22 more in Hamilton to make its total $497, and $36 more in Mullica Township or $837 total.

The figures do not take into account any changes related to the 2014-2015 school district budget that is still to be presented.

The district was eligible for state debt service aid that would have funded 54 percent of the project.

Upgrades at Oakcrest High School would have included the installation of air conditioning in all classrooms, renovating the athletic fields, site improvements to enhance access to athletic areas, upgrading locker rooms, security systems, science labs, and technology systems and equipment.

Upgrades proposed for Absegami High School included renovating the locker rooms, updating security systems throughout the school, renovating the athletic complex and fields, updating science labs, and technology systems and equipment.

Proposed Cedar Creek High School upgrades included increasing locker room capacity, renovating the athletic complex and fields, and the installation of a school sign and stadium lighting.


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