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Monday, May 20, 2024

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Cape May to Seek Regional District’s Dissolution

By Jack Fichter

Cape May is one third of the regional school district along with Lower Township and West Cape May.
Attorney Vito Gagliardi, hired by the city as special counsel, recommends Cape May take steps necessary to bring about a voter referendum to ask residents here, in West Cape May and Lower Township to dissolve the Lower Cape May Regional High School district.
Cape May could see a school tax savings of as much as $2.9 million per year. The city currently pays $42,000 to send each student to the regional district.
City council also passed a motion committing up to $40,000 to cover legal fees of working towards a voter referendum to dissolve the district, which includes paying neighboring West Cape May’s share of litigation costs.
City Manager Luciano V. Corea Jr. said $40,000 would cover costs of applying to the county Superintendent. He said an additional $30,000 to $40,000 “should bring us through the referendum, assuming there are no legal challenges.”
Corea said he would recommend the city’s 2006 budget contain $40,000 for legal bills for the dissolution process, which could take 12 to 18 months.
At this time, council has committed $70,000 to the dissolution process, said Deputy Mayor Niels Favre. He said the motion could be amended to cover future litigation expenses.
The city needs cooperation of school boards of Cape May and West Cape May and West Cape May Commission for a voter referendum.

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