Special BOE Election March 10 to Replace Contaminated Flooring

HARRISONVILLE — The South Harrison Township Board of Education will be holding a Special Election on Tuesday, March 10 for a $1 million bond to replace the flooring in the All Purpose Room that has been determined to be made from a mercury containing material.

The election will be held at the South Harrison Municipal Building from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m.

According to a letter from Superintendent of Schools Dr. James J. Lavender, in the spring of 2019 Epic Environmental confirmed that the rubber-like polyurethane floor flooring that was installed in the APR more than 20 years ago was “mercury-containing”. This was a potential health threat to anyone that occupied the room.

The mercury vapor release results from rubber-like polyurethane floors that contain phenyl mercuric acetate (PMA). When PMA breaks down it may release an odorless, colorless mercury vapor. If inhaled, it could produce harmful effects on the nervous, digestive and immune systems.

Two independent air samples taken in May and December 2019, collected while ventilation operated normally, showed that the sample did not exceed the limits of the New Jersey Department of Health action limit criteria. A test taken in July when ventilation was not operating properly, concluded that the mercury vapor concentrations exceeded the limits.

Based on the sampling test results, until the flooring is replaced, the South Harrison Township Elementary School District must maintain proper ventilation in the APR. If at any time the ventilation system is not operational, the activities will be relocated, and the room will be closed. The district will also do regular air testing.

If the bond is approved, the tax impact per $100 assessed value in South Harrison Township will be $.019. This would mean that the tax impact for the average assessed home in South Harrison of $321,537 will be $62.45.

By Karen E. Viereck, Editor/Publisher

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