A $33million project to renovate a school and build a new one in Lambertville that passed by just two votes will go ahead, after a recount by the Hunterdon County Board of Elections on Tuesday resulted in the same result.
Board of Elections Administrator Beth Thompson said the recount began around 9 a.m. and ended around noon. The same margin of two votes – 1,773 yes votes against 1,771 no votes – was maintained.
“The recount is over and nothing has changed,” she told NJ Advance Media.
A majority of voters in two of the three towns in the South Hunterdon Regional School District voted for the multimillion-dollar construction proposal. In Lambertville, the measure passed by a margin of 1,230 votes to 688 and in Stockton, the referendum passed by 162 votes to 81.
But in West Amwell the referendum received just 381 yes votes – with 72.45% of voters voting against the proposal, prompting West Amwell Mayor Stephen Bergenfeld and other residents to demand a recount.
New Jersey Superior Court Judge Michael F. O’Neill ruled in favor of Bergenfeld and his co-plaintiffs’ claim against the Hunterdon County Board of Elections, County Clerk and School District, according to TAPinto Flemington/Raritan.
“That’s a very slim margin, just two votes out of 3,500,” O’Neill said as he authorized the recount, the site reported. “There is a very real (possibility) that there was an error in the digitization of the votes.”
The November 2 ballot referendum asked voters in the district if they wanted to build a new middle school for students in grades 5 through 8 in high school. He also asked to renovate Lambertville Public School into an improved kindergarten through fourth grade. The school currently serves students from kindergarten through sixth grade.
The referendum noted that after accounting for state funding, the local cost of the project would be approximately $26.6 million. Under the proposal, the board will issue school bonds to fund the project over a 30-year period.
Bergenfeld said he and his fellow plaintiffs would challenge the recount.
He initiated the recount “because it was so overwhelmingly voted no in my city, and the administration is still trying to shove something into us at such a price,” he told NJ Advance Media.
“When you’re talking about that type of money, I think there should be some sort of breakdown on what it should go through,” he added. “I have publicly said that if 51% of my residents vote yes, I’m good. But if my residents vote no and they’re still trying to ram it down my throat, they’re going to fight. »
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