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Ridgewood Board of Education Candidate Comments on Budgets, Facilities, and Sustainability
Dear Ridgewood Neighbors,
I would like to address the critical topics of budgets, facilities, and sustainability, which are of utmost importance to our community. In my bid for the Board of Education in 2020, I encountered a situation where the prior board was advancing a $96 million bond referendum, a substantial portion of which (38-40M) allocated funds toward replacing HVAC systems with sources of energy that are depletable.
In response, I embarked on a collaborative effort with the facilities team and the administration to temporarily halt the $96 million bond referendum. Our collective goal was to seek alternative solutions that aligned with our commitment to sustainability and fiscal responsibility. Together, we diligently scoured grant opportunities to harness the power of clean energy.
Our efforts have already borne fruit as we have begun the process of replacing several rooftop units, thanks to a generous grant from PSEG that covers up to 80% of the replacement costs, with the remaining funds derived from energy savings. Furthermore, we have submitted project applications aimed at replacing the entire HVAC systems of two school buildings with environmentally-friendly heat pump systems. These projects are eligible for state grants that could subsidize up to 40% of the total project amount.
It is worth noting that over $13 million in capital projects are set to be completed through identified efficiencies and substantial state grant funds (over $6M from $13M cost). These projects will be completed without that referendum and without increasing taxes for Ridgewood neighbors. Personally, I took the initiative to identify several grants that have proven beneficial to our district, including one that facilitated the placement of free air purifiers in every classroom.
These efforts underscore our unwavering commitment to fiscal responsibility, the enhancement of our facilities, and the promotion of sustainability within our educational system. I am honored to have been a part of this journey, and I look forward to continuing our collective pursuit of a brighter and more sustainable future for our schools and community.
Thank you for your support and trust in my vision.
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