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Marlboro voters reject $26M school district referendum

MARLBORO – Voters have rejected a $26.3 million construction referendum that the Marlboro K-8 School District Board of Education placed before them on Sept. 26.

According to results posted online by the Monmouth County Clerk’s Office, the referendum question was defeated by a count of 2,344 no votes to 1,841 yes votes. The result is unofficial until it is certified by the county.

The referendum proposed infrastructure upgrades at Marlboro Middle School,  Asher Holmes Elementary School, Marlboro Elementary School, Robertsville Elementary School, Frank Defino Central Elementary School and Frank J. Dugan Elementary School.

The project would have included heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems, windows, fire alarm systems, temperature control panels, electrical boards, feeders, boilers, pumps, switchboards and electric generators, according to the school board.

District administrators have said some of the infrastructure and equipment that is proposed to be replaced is more than 50 years old and is beyond its useful life.

Following the defeat of the referendum, board President Debbie Mattos said, “I am very disheartened that our district now has to work on a long-range plan to address our priority facility needs without $10.5 million from the state’s debt service aid.

“As the 2018-19 budget process is set to begin, we will continue to work diligently with administration. I would like to thank everyone who supported our efforts, especially the Marlboro Township Education Association and to all the Marlboro residents who voted. We will continue to move forward in the right direction,” she said.

The average home in Marlboro is assessed at $500,000 and the owner of that home currently pays $256 per year in debt service (repayment of old debt). That payment will continue for another three years and then end, according to district administrators.

District administrators said that if the referendum had passed, that individual’s debt payment would have dropped from $256 per year to $99 per year four years from now.

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