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Some say: Let’s Buy It! It’s a Win-Win! Delaney Homes Land – There Is No 30 Day Limit!

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PERTH AMBOY – Building a new High School was still front and center during the 10/16/14 Board of Education Meeting. Board Vice-President Israel Varela who is also Chair of the Buildings and Grounds Committee was not present at the meeting, but Board Members Milady Tejeda and Anthony Bermudez brought a new perspective to what they felt would be the best possible solution.

Tejeda said, “Why don’t we simply try to buy the whole Delaney Homes property? The City, Board of Education and Housing Authority need to sit down together to discuss this. It should be easier to have the 78 housing units moved elsewhere.”

Fellow Board Member Bermudez agreed with Tejeda about the Delaney Homes Property and said, “It will still give us options to look at other properties.”

During this discussion the Board Attorney Philip Stern said, “Board Member Garcia should recuse herself from this issue because she is the Chair of the Planning Board.”

Garcia countered this by saying, “The Planning Board Attorney said I can participate in discussions pertaining to the new High School.” There was a stalemate with a final solution of Garcia stating that she will get a letter with an explanation from the Planning Board Attorney why she can participate.

Board Member Sam Lebreault said, “The clarification from the Planning Board Attorney should be sent to the Board of Education Attorney so this matter can be cleared up.” Lebreault also wanted clarification from Tejeda and asked her, “If we purchase all the Delaney property, we will still be looking at other properties at the same time.”

Tejeda said, “Yes, that is what I meant.”

Board Secretary Derek Jess gave a brief synopsis of the process when it comes to building new schools. “The Chairs of the Finance Committee, Buildings and Grounds, myself (Board Secretary) will meet the SDA first,” Jess continued, “In 2002, the City got a contractor for a new school. The SDA talked to them and made it quite clear, get a piece of the land and we will build (at that time) the Seaman Avenue School and by the way, the Housing Authority said, “You can have our property (Delaney Homes).” Dzema said, “There is no 30 day time limit.” The Board says we should do due diligence to get a new High School.”

Jess talked about the municipalities of Phillipsburg and New Brunswick as a comparison to Perth Amboy. He compared their land mass in regards to what they used to build their new schools.

The Board has hired PennJersey to look at properties for the High School.

Board President Obi Gonzalez suggested that PennJersey can come in with their reports on the properties that they looked at to see what would be best suited for the new High School.

Sam Lebreault said, “I think that a school is more important than Housing Units on the Delaney Homes Property. I’m sure the Housing Authority can find other properties to build units on.”

Jess said, “Facility plans are updated every 5 years. This would include new high schools, middle schools and early learning schools.”

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