The Board of Education is planning a bond referendum for Thursday, Oct. 6. With careful planning and expert guidance, we developed a plan that could give our three schools $21 million in improvements without increasing the property tax rate. A bond referendum asks residents to vote on that plan.
How can GEHR meet the goal of a zero-tax increase? Our district will have paid-off debt from a previous voter-approved referendum just prior to this referendum, making this an ideal time to re-invest with no change to the tax rate that currently goes toward school debt payments.
School districts can sell bonds to generate funding, just like a company can sell stock to generate funding. Selling bonds would provide funding for projects such as:
Athletic facilities updates, including improvements to soccer fields, tennis courts, and our tracks. Additionally, this would include new turf fields in our stadiums designed for multiple sports (football, field hockey, soccer, lacrosse), as well as increasing the areas of existing fields covered by sprinkler systems at all schools.
New or improved auditorium lighting and sound systems in all three schools; new gym bleachers at Oakcrest and Absegami, along with paving and sidewalks; and exterior doors at Absegami.
At Absegami: removal of the “temporary” trailer addition and the creation of a basketball court with tables and benches. At Cedar Creek: a new field building with a refreshment stand and restrooms. At Oakcrest and Absegami: repair and upgrade the field building.
Anyone who is registered to vote in one of the GEHR communities (Egg Harbor City, Galloway Township, Hamilton Township or Mullica Township) can participate. As you can see from the list of projects to be completed, many of these fall directly in line with offering improvements that can benefit our entire community, whether that is the turf stadium that will be made available to youth athletic programs, improved walkways and parking (especially for older or handicapped community members), and more energy efficient lighting both inside and out.
There is plenty of time to register to vote and to learn more about the plan. For more details, start at our website that will be expanded (vote.gehrhsd.net) as details are finalized, and watch for news of how to get more information, ask questions, and prepare to vote on Thursday, Oct. 6.
Mr. James Reina Ms. Carol Houck
Superintendent Board President