MONTGOMERY: Four school board members are sworn in

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By Lea Kahn, Staff Writer
MONTGOMERY — Four newly elected school board members, including two newcomers and two veteran members, were sworn into office at the Board of Education’s annual reorganization meeting Tuesday night.
Newcomers Richard Cavalli and Minkou “Minkyo” Chenette were sworn in for three-year terms, along with incumbent school board member Charles F. Jacey Jr. He had been appointed to the school board last year to fill out an unexpired term.
Incumbent school board member Dale Huff, who was appointed to fill a vacancy on the board last year, was sworn into office to fill out an unexpired two-year term.
School board member Christine Witt was chosen to be the board’s president, and Mr. Jacey was elected to be its vice president. The school board also voted on routine resolutions related to the annual reorganization.
In other business, the school board took the final step to put forth a bond referendum to raise $18.5 million to update and improve each of the schools in the district. The school board approved the language that will appear on the ballot at the March 8 bond referendum.
The resolution also set the polling hours — from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. — for the bond referendum.
Voters in Montgomery Township and Rocky Hill Borough will be asked to vote on the bond referendum, which includes money for projects that range from new roofs to new windows, bathroom renovations and some classroom alterations.
If the voters approve, the bond referendum will add $126 to the annual property tax bill for a Montgomery Township homeowner whose house is assessed at the township average of $499,206. The tax bill in Rocky Hill Borough will go up $74 on a house assessed at the borough average of $439,562.
The State of New Jersey will contribute 40 percent in debt service aid, which is a partial payment of the bond. The bond payment is made annually over the life of the bond issue, to cover a portion of the cost of principal and interest that is due each year.
Of the overall $18.5 million bond referendum, state debt aid will cover $7.15 million and the property owners’ share will be $11.3 million.
If the bond referendum is approved, work will begin during the summer and should be completed in 2018.
For information on the bond referendum, visit www.mtsd.k12.nj.us.