Public officials said they drafted a letter of intent to buy the nearly 19-acre property earlier this month for $12.2 million. It's part of a nearly $17 million plan to acquire the property adjacent to Haddonfield Memorial High School for school expansion and open space.
Wednesday's meeting will be the first of three this month in which the commissioners and the BOE are scheduled to discuss the purchase. The commissioners meet again on Monday, July 23 and the school board will hold a special meeting on July 31. Both boards are expected to vote on the approval of the letter of intent at those meetings. No vote will be held at Wednesday's meeting.
A public referendum will be needed to approve a bond for the purchase. The referendum is likely to be held in January.
Here are more details of the deal:
Purchase Price: $12,192,500 (which is the current assessed value of the property), subject to referendum approval
- Bancroft has up to 2 years to sign an agreement of sale for a new site
- The District will not have to sell its bonds until Bancroft has the agreement for a new location
- Bancroft must immediately begin looking for a new site and prepare plans for construction
- Once the District purchases the property, Bancroft may remain on the property for 2 years while it is building its new facility; if it goes beyond 2 years, it will have to pay rent of $400,000/$500,000 for years 3 & 4. It must vacate no later than 4 years—if it doesn't, Bancroft is subject to repayment of all the debt service paid by the District from the beginning until it vacates.
Ownership: will be divided between the District and the Borough based on the funding available for open space use and affordable housing.
Bond referendum: likely to be around $16 million less all open space funding obtained and turf field funding (if provided).