Haddon Township School District Bond Referendum
Creating Space to Thrive
VOTE: March 12, 2024
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
HAVE A QUESTION? Click here to submit a question. Relevant questions may be added to the list of frequently asked questions below.
Q: What is a bond referendum?
A: A bond referendum is a vote that determines whether a school district can borrow funds through the sale of bonds. The bonds are paid back through property taxes over time. When voters approve a bond referendum in New Jersey, qualified projects are eligible for state debt service aid toward the projects.
Q: What is eligible to be paid for with a bond referendum? Can we use the funds for more teachers, librarians, etc.?
A: Bond referendum funds may only be used for capital improvements to improve existing facilities or to build new facilities.
Q: If the referendum passes, when will the turf and lights be installed?
A: The district will work with the architect to establish a timeline for projects once the referendum passes. When the timeline has been established, projects will then be sent out for bids as the school district must follow the NJ State procurement laws. The lowest responsible bidder will then be awarded the contract. When the contractor is determined, they will create a timeline for the project.
Q: Who can vote in the special election on March 12, 2024.
A: All registered voters in Haddon Township are eligible to vote by mail or in person at designated locations on March 12, 2024.
Q: How can I confirm if I’m registered to vote?
A: You can confirm your voter registration here. Access the New Jersey Voter Registration Portal here.
Q: Who benefits from the projects included in this bond referendum?
A: All students will benefit since there are proposed projects in every school. In addition, there is important work proposed at the Recchino Field which benefits everyone in our community who uses this field.
Q: Which projects are not eligible for state aid?
A: Projects that are not directly related to an instructional program aren’t eligible for state aid. Those projects include the lobby, locker room, bathroom renovations, bleachers and the turf field.
Q: How does debt service aid reduce taxpayer costs?
A: If voters approve the bond referendum, Haddon Township Public Schools would qualify for approximately $9,317,269 million in debt service aid. This amount would offset the local share of payments for the projects.
Q: Will my taxes be impacted with the passing of the bond referendum vote?
A: If voters pass this bond referendum, the owner of a home assessed at Haddon Township’s average of $231,245 can expect to pay $263 more per year ($22/month).
Q: What is the Senior Freeze and how do I apply for it? Will it apply to the bond referendum?
A: The Senior Freeze Program reimburses eligible senior citizens and disabled persons for property tax or mobile home park site fee increases on their principal residence (main home). To qualify, residents must meet all the eligibility requirements for each year from the base year through the application year. Learn more by visiting the NJ Division of Taxation by clicking here.
Q: How confident is the district that the work being done to address water issues on the fields/in the schools will be effective (given increased significant rainfall events caused by climate change)?
A: While the full design of improvements, including those related to water mitigation, won’t be designed until the outcome of the referendum is known, the approach to the water concern in the area of the HS music rooms and stage for example, are focused on addressing the problem directly versus only repairing past damage. While past damage will be repaired, the drainage systems planned will be designed to create an alternate routing for water in these areas, creating a route to take the water away from the building before it has the opportunity to seep inside. This is similar to creating a drainage system around your home to take ground water away. The design will consider the potential for rain to be heavier in the future in an effort to counteract that risk.
Q: I've heard that turf fields can increase student injuries or contain "forever chemicals" like PFAS. How is the district addressing these concerns?
A: The district’s goal with the installation of artificial turf is that grass, due to limitations from weather and seasonality, cannot support the broad range of demands for district fields for everything from sports to community activities to band and other uses. There are an extensive array of studies of both grass and turf fields. Variables impacting injury rates can include field use levels, maintenance, and many other factors and studies have ranged in their findings. Unfortunately, many of these studies are done on professional fields, with professional athletes, which are not comparable to typical high school field use and consider grass fields maintained at a far higher level than a high school field making any conclusions tough to apply to a typical high school field situation. In terms of artificial turf construction, the design of turf fields has changed dramatically since they were first introduced decades ago. Fields today are tested by a range of agencies for what they contain and prior to finalizing the specifications for the field, various manufacturers will be reviewed and asked to satisfy that this concern is unfounded.