Haddonfield BOE Meets to Approve Final Bancroft Referendum Language

The $12.5 million bond referendum to buy the Bancroft property will be on Jan. 22.

The borough school board is scheduled to met Thursday in the high school library to approve the final language for a Jan. 22 bond referendum to buy the 19-acre Bancroft property on Kings Highway East.

The $12.5 million bond will be paired with at least $3.5 million in state, county and local open-space funds for the $16 million purchase. The plan is to demolish the existing buildings on the grounds, construct an artificial turf field, develop open space, including hiking trails, and acquire the property for future schools development.

The BOE slashed $4.3 million off a $16.8 million purchase and development price last month. The price was reduced by cutting $800,000 for the installation of an artificial turf field for the high-school football stadium and the addition anticipated open-space money. The high school turf was taken out of the proposal after a borough citizens group raised $600,000 toward the $1 million cost to resurface the stadium field and an adjacent one.

It reduced the cost of the project to $12.5 million, about a third of the original $32.3 million for the public purchase and development of Bancroft rolled out a year ago.

Jim December 13, 2012 at 02:07 PM
Playing with numbers does not make the numbers any less .What is bond amount and overhead going to be how much environmental costs are there is the project costs. Will the tax payers have to pay for under ground tanks and other hazards un discovered or not disclosed. Does Bancroft cover any costs for environmental or does their insurance company cover some of these costs. What are real numbers going to be going forward, not just some bond number just to be used now to pass this bond issue in January. What will the next bond amount be once we own the property and all the un disclosed costs now have to be paid for additional over head and other costs to demo and fix the soil and ground water. What are the additional taxes now owed to pay for the debt on the bond and now additional taxes for another bond and the overhead to support the 19 acres.
Brian Kelly December 13, 2012 at 03:06 PM
Great points Jim, especially about the following bond referendum. There's always another referendum. This is just the beginning of the Haddonfield Campus. Remember how the turfing of Anniversary Field was on the referendum until the last minute? It was shifted back to the borough to bypass the vote and will return to the BoE. Now the residents are paying for 2 turf fields without any say. Part of the referendum is already in play. Let's see how they word the language for the third field tonight. The Haddonfield Campus will eventually include a new high school. The tuition student program is something for everyone to keep an eye on. If you bring in students from outside of Haddonfield it validates the BoE argument of overcrowding. Superintendent Perry advocated the program in a recent Sun article. Get ready for a PAC funded media blitz on the merits of the Haddonfield Campus after the first of the new year.
Ellen Klein December 13, 2012 at 06:54 PM
My family lived (note lived!) in Haddonfield for 24 years until the various taxes that were "only pennies a day" forced us to move. We now live in Haddon Heights, with about the same taxes, except our property is now double what we previously had. Bancroft is just another tax that regular people can not afford. Not everyone that lives in Haddonfield is a doctor, lawyer or a principal earning $300,000+ per year. Just look at all of the for sale signs in the neighborhood. Haddonfield is taxing itself out of regular families. We are so glad we moved before we had to pay yet another tax.
Brian Kelly December 13, 2012 at 06:59 PM
A quick note on the mention of the media blitz. Since the Haddonfield Sports Campus doesn't seem to be as popular as its proponents originally envisioned, don't be surprised to see marketing playing up the environmental/open space aspects of the referendum. Turf fields and open spaces make quite a combo.
Joe Taxpayer December 13, 2012 at 08:50 PM
All governments in NJ are taxing us out of the towns and state we call home. The problem isn't Bancroft per se. it's money spent on union pay, benefits and pensions. There is simply no money left over to do anything. We can debate the merits of Bancroft pro and con all day. In the end, some say the $200 a yr incr is what is breaking the bank. It could be but that is nothing compared to where all the real money goes - PAYROLL. Be against taxes for all things. Fight to get rid of pensions and free healthcare for unions! Haddonfield spends $1 million a yr on pension expenses and $1.7M on healthcare. Who can explain how pension expenses benefit the citizens of Haddonfield? BOE spends $5M+ on healthcare. Now I ask, which expense is the bigger problem for taxpayers who have to pay for their own pensions and healthcare? If the $1M debt service payment is $200 per, we pay 8x that for employee benefits or $1600 a year. Now that's real money.
Maryann Campling December 13, 2012 at 11:18 PM
Ellen: Five of my friends moved from Haddonfield between Oct. 2011 and Oct. 2012. All were fed up with ever rising taxes and ever diminishing services. Two are families whose children were mismanaged in the school system. Across the board they ALL said that the final nail in the coffin was Bancroft and projected spending. By the way, before certain people look down their noses at me because I live in a modest H-field neighborhood.....four of the five lived in the high rent district...one lived on Coles Mill Rd. So, even people who are well-heeled are fed up. Miss seeing you Ellen...Happy Holidays!


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