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Toms River school board sets Jan. 22 as date for $147 million referendum

The Toms River Regional School District Board of Education has set Jan. 22 as the date when it will ask voters to approve $147 million in capital improvement projects.

A referendum will be the subject of a special election that day.

During a meeting on Dec. 19, board President Russell Corby, Vice President Joseph Nardini and board members Janet Bell, Gigi Esparza, Michael Horgan, Daniel Leonard, Christopher Raimann, Ginny Rhine and Michele Williams passed a resolution setting the date of Jan. 22 for the election.

Three public meetings have been scheduled in advance of the vote: Jan. 3, East Side regional meeting, Toms River High School East, 6:30-8 p.m.; Jan. 7, North Side regional meeting, Toms River High School North, 6:30–8 p.m.; and Jan. 8, South Side regional meeting, Toms River High School South, 6:30-8 p.m.

Superintendent of Schools David Healy said the state will cover 37 percent of the projected $147 million price tag.

“That means $100 million will be on the taxpayers. Based on the proposed tax impact monthly, it is going to cost the average assessed home an additional $4 to $10 a month, depending on where you live (in the regional district),” he said.

Healy said items that have been identified as priority one projects need to be completed now and should not wait more than a year.

“There is nothing in here about a new building, a new swimming pool or any staffing. All of these projects have to be done and should have really been done 10 years ago,” he said.

Administrators said work to be undertaken through the referendum would include renovations and improvements of 18 schools in the district and the purchase of equipment.

The work would encompass the repair and repaving of parking lots and driveways; heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems; door and window replacement; improving accessibility to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act; safety and security upgrades; and school-based projects such as secondary science labs and elementary school playgrounds, according to district administrators.

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