Voters pass Lenape Valley Regional High School proposal

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:47

    SUSSEX COUNTY-Residents in the sending districts of Byram, Stanhope, and Netcong passed Lenape Valley Regional High School's $11.4 million 2005-2006 budget in an election this week. Lenape's budget increases $478,238 over last year from $11,496,685 to $11,972,873. "We've tightened our belts," said Robert Klinck, assistant superintendent for business at Lenape Valley Regional High School. "We prepared a budget we felt could pass. We've cut back in so many areas." The $7.9 million tax levy will raise rates for Byram residents by $.85 per 100 in assessed property tax or .85 percent, up from $.83 last year. For Netcong residents, the tax rate rises to $.90 per $100 of assessed property value, up from $.89 last year; and to $.97 from $.93 for residents of Stanhope. The school tax on a home assessed at the town average of $143,900 in Byram will be $1,223, up 2.8 percent from last year, now that the budget has been approved; $1,303 at the town average of $144,800 in Netcong, up .98 percent; and $1,078 on the $111,084 town average in Stanhope, up 4.47 percent. Earlier this year, voters from Byram and Stanhope rejected a plan to revamp a formula for funding Lenape Valley Regional High School, which they share with neighboring Netcong from Morris County. The plan would have modified the manner in which property taxes are apportioned to a formula based solely upon the number of pupils enrolled from each municipality. The current formula, in place for the past 10 years, computes each municipality's equalized valuation with its elementary and regional school enrollments. Voters failed to re-elect Daria Johnson as the Byram representative to the Lenape Valley school board, instead opting for Paul DiRupo and Matthew Klinck to fill the two, three-year terms. Netcong voters elected Sharon Still to her first term on the Lenape school board, and in Stanhope, three-term incumbent Joseph Carducci Jr. narrowly defeated Michele Rhodes-Simpson for the one, three-year seat. DiRupo, 47, a 17-year district resident, is the principal at Dover High School; Klinck, a lifelong resident of Byram, is a tax accountant; Still, 47, who has lived 26 years in the district, is an insurance agent; and Carducci, 63, who has lived in the district for 26 years, is a former schools superintendent, principal, teacher, counselor, and director of administrative services. He is an adjunct professor of education at Montclair, Seton Hall and other universities