A referendum that may have asked for $12 million from Brick taxpayers is – at least for now – off the table, officials said at Thursday night’s school board meeting.
A measure to hire a firm to design the specifications of the referendum for $25,000 was removed from the agenda before the meeting began, with board president John Lamela saying the plan “is a non-starter for us.”
“It may resurface, but at this time our board has pulled it,” said Lamela. “We want to do our homework. How do we get this stuff done?”
In a non-scientific poll alongside a Shorebeat article earlier this week, 66 percent of those who voted said they would oppose the referendum spending if it appeared on a ballot.
“We don’t have any money in this town,” resident Walter Campbell told board members at the meeting, suggesting the board looks into an ESCO program, under which projects at the schools would be funded through energy savings and other efficiencies rather than cash from taxpayers.
“It’s the only way to do it,” said Campbell, a former board member who also served as a volunteer member of the board’s facilities committee. “You don’t have any other choice now.”
Earlier this spring, Brick officials laid out more than $12.5 million in repairs that are needed district-wide. In a previous report from Shorebeat, it was reported that the $12.5 million in repairs would range from a $1,496,000 roof replacement for the Warren H. Wolf Elementary School (formerly the Primary Learning Center), to $1,297,637 for new baseball and softball fields at Brick Memorial High School, to $1,558,000 to replace a track at Brick Township High School.