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River Dell Referendum Fails; Budget Approved

Change in funding formula will not happen

The RiverDell voters have spoken and the funding formula for the regional school district will remain based on equalized property values. The question needed to pass in both by a majority of voters in River Edge and Oradell. The taxpayers in River Edge overwhelming voted 3,374 to 84 against while in Oradell the results were 2,412 to 141 in favor. The final overall tally was 3,515 to 2,498 against the change.

Voters in both towns also decided on the $25.5 million levy with an overall approval of 3,188 to 2,646. Under the new 2% mandated tax levy cap, Oradell residents will see an $111 decrease (based on average assessed home of $531,810) while taxpayers in River Edge have a $174 hike (based on average assessed home of $436,000).

The $29.1 budget allows for the renovation of a middle school science lab; 10 new courses; additional sections for Mandarin and Italian, a basic skills teacher and two new LEAD teachers.

With Darlene Ross choosing to not run for reelection, her seat was nabbed by Patricia Almberg  with the most votes of 1,925 while incumbent Vito Acquafredda returns to his chair on the Board with 1,416. Both River Edge seats are for three-year terms. Challenger Christopher Ilg garnered 1,382 votes.

Acquafredda, who works as an architect, earned a bachelor's degree from the City College of New York School of Architecture. Almberg has served on the River Edge Board of Education for the past four years. A graduate of Stone Hill College with a bachelor's degree in science, she works part time at St. Peter the Apostle Church.

The lone three-year Oradell seat went to challenger Paul Barnes who had 940 votes over incumbent Michael Gardner's 832.

Barnes is the head of the math department at Paramus High School. He earned a bachelor's of science degree from Springfield College and a master's in mathematics from Fairleigh Dickinson University.

There are 6,845 registered voters in River Edge and 5,602 in Oradell.

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