On April 22, 2015 there was testimony before the Local Finance Board where Roselle officials laid out why a $59 million Mind & Body Complex was needed (pages 24 – 25) :
MR JESSUP: The Board of Education has a significant need for a pre K and kindergarten facility. those kids are about 200 kids that are currently spread out in two separate facilities that are leased by the Board of Education. They’re not owned by the Board of Education. They are substandard facilities. Recreation takes place in a parking lot in one facility. There’s no recreation opportunity in a second facility. One of them is located on Saint George’s Avenue which is a main thoroughfare with Roselle. There is overcrowding in significant number of the classrooms. Many have upwards of 20 kids pre K and kindergarten. The target number is more like 15 kids. So there’s overcrowding. There’s currently a wait list for pre K enrollment that can’t be accomodated by the current leased facilities.
And as justification for the rest of the project (pages 25-26):
There is currently no rec center throughout the borough. So the borough has rec center needs.
The borough has a very popular and active library which right now is antiquated and too small.
And $59 million is what it will take to solve these problems? Nothing less? Wouldn’t renting another building for $250,000 annually cover those extra 100 kids? Or how about spending $500,000 annually for space at facilities that are NOT substandard?
Then we have this assertion by Mr. Jessup from page 26:
In addition, you know, in Roselle and a lot of other places where you have , you know, two working parents you want a nice facility, a good facility where kids can go after school and end up at a library versus out somewhere else. In this case, obviously, that facility is literally right across the way on the same parcel of property.
Remember this is a school for kindergarten and pre-kindergarten kids. Was anyone on that Local Finance Board paying any attention? Is there really a problem in Roselle with pre-K kids hanging out on street corners after school?
You get ‘experts’ to vouch that a project will either make money in the long run or cost very little for the quality of life improvements it will generate. In Union County it happened when they wanted to sell…
Which is convenient for those of you in Roselle curious about how much the Mind & Body Complex will cost you. Just add up your four quarterly tax bills and prepare to make out an extra check in that full amount (plus borrowing costs) for which you will get….
777-2016 AN ORDINANCE OF THE COUNTY OF UNION, STATE OF NEW JERSEY AUTHORIZING THE GUARANTY OF THE PAYMENT OF THE PRINCIPAL OF AND INTEREST ON NOT EXCEEDING $59,000,000 AGGREGATE PRINCIPAL AMOUNT OF COUNTY-GUARANTEED LEASE REVENUE BONDS, SERIES 2016 (COMMUNITY CENTER AND LIBRARY PROJECT), ISSUED BY THE UNION COUNTY IMPROVEMENT AUTHORITY FOR THE PURPOSE OF PROVIDING ADDITIONAL SECURITY THEREFORE AND DETERMINING CERTAIN OTHER MATTERS IN CONNECTION THEREWITH.
Approved 5-1 with one abstention
For anyone in Roselle who objects to being taxed another $59 million: