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Belleville Passes $1 Million in School Repairs

Belleville Board of Education trustees approve a plan for roof, electrical repairs to three schools that will be paid for in school budgets over the next five years.

The Belleville Board of Education approved a plan to fund repairs for three schools that may cost up to $1.025 million.

“By law, we had to have a public hearing Monday night to do this,” said Joseph Longo, a two-term member of the board. “It’s being paid for over five years in the school budget and we’re using property we own as collateral.”

Longo said the deal allows the district to bond for the most pressing school repairs, including roofs at the High School and School No. 7 and an upgrade to the electrical system at School No. 8.

The Board met Monday and approved the plan.

The lease/purchase proposal total cannot be more than $1,025,000, according to the official documents, according to Edward Appleton, Board of Education Business Administrator and Secretary.

The history of the district's school budget has been up and down. The budget failed in 2009 and passed the last two years with a zero tax increase.

However, Belleville school officials say there is still not nearly enough money to fund repairs to schools.

"This is pretty major thing for us to do, especially in rough economic times," Longo said.

The lease/purchase plan to repair schools comes after a failed referendum in the last decade, and years of rejected school budgets in the 1990s and 2000s left officials with little money to maintain and repair aging buildings.

Jeff Mattingly June 22, 2012 at 01:59 PM
The BOE school budget has enjoyed annual state funding increases over the last 4-5 years that has taken us from 56 to over 60 MILLION dollars. This has afforded the taxpayers a 0% increase each year while allowing the board to meet contractural and insurance increases, hire new aids and teachers, purchase lost of new equipment and continue busing and other programs but, why did it not include a long range plan for sorely needed building maintenance? It is not as though these repairs were not staring them in the face during these years of plenty. These increased funds that we have enjoyed seem to be at an end. This money is being bonded, public debt, something that prior boards had avoided during much more difficult financial times. This means that there will be less $ to cover operating expenses next year. These things always seem to be scheduled for a vote with little public notice and when there are big events happening that distract the town, like graduations. Lets see what next years budget brings???

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