Ordinance 2466 was passed unanimously by council during the July meeting. This ordinance gives the go-ahead to start, and in one case complete, capital projects in the borough. Although being formally authorized now, these projects were all discussed earlier this year openly in budget workshops that were open to the public.
The projects were separated into four (4) major sections:
- Affordable Housing
- Resurfacing Of Streets
The total amount appropriated for the projects is $2,162,400 with $1,595,000 – about 74% – of it coming from property taxes. The remaining $567,400 is from grants and other funding. That amount breaks down to:
- $180,000 from the New Jersey Department Of Transportation (NJDOT)
- $160,000 from a Union County Development Block Grant
- $60,000 from a Union County Kids Recreation Trust Fund Grant
- $50,000 from a Union County Infrastructure and Municipal Aid Grant
- $117,400 from one or more previously adopted budgets for down payments for capital improvement purposes
The first major section – Purchase of Equipment – is for a total of $546,900 of which $495,000 will be from property taxes. Those purchases include:
- Mason dump truck with plow and backhoe loader for the Public Works Department;
- Ambulance for the First Aid Squad;
- Sport utility vehicle with emergency equipment and employee scheduling and attendance system for the Police Department;
- Emergency AM radio station with FCC licensing and generators for the Office of Emergency Management;
- Scott SCBA air bottles, turnout gear, UHF portable radios, pagers and batteries, air compressor for Scott packs, chief vehicle and MSA gas meter for the Fire Department;
- computer equipment for all Borough Departments.
The improvements to municipal buildings and grounds, sidewalk improvements throughout the Borough, improvements to Aldene Park, and the relocation of the borough’s fire siren – just to name a few – totaled $465,000.
The rehabilitation of affordable housing units were for $200,000. This amount marks the last payment of $1,000,000 that needed to be set aside to meet the rehabilitation component of an Order of Compliance that the governing body signed in 2009 to avoid going to court against developer AvalonBay Communities and their Builder’s Remedy lawsuit which was dropped after that governing body agreed to a settlement agreement. This one million dollars was a condition of that agreement.
The final section, Resurfacing Of Roads, is budgeted at $950,500. About 55% of that amount – $526,000 – came from property taxes. The following four (4) streets are on the list to be resurfaced:
- West Colfax Avenue from Locust Street to Chestnut Street
- Park Place from West Webster Avenue to West Clay Avenue
- Larch Street from West Colfax Avenue to West Lincoln Avenue
- Pine Street from West Colfax Avenue to West Roselle Avenue
At the July meeting, Tom Solfaro from Neglia Engineering – the borough’s engineering firm – stated that one of the streets, West Colfax Avenue, will be delayed due to the the shutdown order for all NJDOT sponsored projects.
Mr. Solfaro explained, “The borough has sponsored work through NJDOT municipal aid programs over the past year or so. The borough was lucky enough to receive additional funding through their funding cycle for 2016 but obviously Christie, with his order, has shut down any DOT sponsored projects at this time until some other politics are addressed at a different level. All DOT sponsored projects are currently shut down. Design can still move forward if that’s the direction of the governing body but any particular construction needs to cease.”