In a meeting room rearranged to maintain “social distancing,” the township council introduced several ordinances to fund public improvements in the township.
Three council members, Township Clerk Michele Reilly and Township Attorney Tom Ryan sat at the dais while two council members, Mayor Eric Wilsusen and Township Administrator Debra Milikin sat at tables below the dais. Chairs for the public were arranged several feet apart and the township used a Go to Meeting program to broadcast audio to those who wanted to hear the meeting but not attend in person.
Public hearings on the bond ordinances will be held April 1.
The largest expenditure will be for road improvements.
Council introduced a bond ordinance which included $1,220,000 for road work. Paved will be Chamberlain, Legion, Milton and Ridge roads and Puddingstone Lane. Originally on the list were interior roads in Cozy Lake, but council received word from New Jersey Natural Gas that gas mains would be run in that area of the township this fall and the gas company will take care of the paving.
The township will cape seal and micro seal other roads, including Winding Brook Lane, Summer Walk Circle, Kates Turn, Edgewater Avenue, Mansfield Way, Country Lake Drive, Little Doe Run, Fox Chase Road, Wood Duck Cove, Pheasant Walk, Whispering Pines Way, and Courtney Drive.
Bonds for that work will be $1,161,000. Councilman Robert Birmingham pointed out that oil prices have dropped so possibly between that and saving money on Cozy Lake, the township can do more road work.
The rest of the bond ordinance, which totaled $3,041,700, will be $660,000 toward other township improvements. The public works garage will be converted to natural gas heat and be outfitted with screening and awnings. The HVAC system and roof on the municipal complex will be upgraded.
In addition, the township will purchase a utility vehicle for the office of emergency management, two dump trucks and a pickup truck for the department of public works and an ambulance for the Milton First Aid Squad. Those purchases will total $630,000, of which $593,000 will be funded by the bond.
Improvements to the storm water drainage system will include reconstruction of drainage facilities along Notch Road and Laurel Drive along with some road reconstruction and site work. That will cost $250,000, of which $238,000 will come from the bond.
The remainder of the bond ordinance will fund a mower and two Toro Workmen for the recreation department and equipment for the fire department.
The total cost for the work is $3,201,700.
Another ordinance for public hearing April 1 appropriates funds for recreation improvements totaling $109,700, $79,700 from the recreation trust fund and $30,000 from the Camp Jefferson Reserve fund which comes from camp fees.
The recreation improvements are a new utility trailer and utility vehicle attachments, a field line painter and an electronic sign board; the installation of new safety fencing at Chamberlain Park and improvements to Lakeside Field.
Various purchases and upgrades dominate another ordinance taking money from the capital improvement fund and the capital surplus fund. To fund the total of $473,600, $448,600 will come from the capital improvement fund and $25,000 from the capital surplus fund.
Purchases include communication and computer equipment for various departments, radar units, light bars, vehicle lights, and police car conversions; an excavator attachment and an air compressor for the Department of Public Works; an animal control vehicle and dog cages for the Health Department; improvements at the Historical Society Building and White Rock Lake Pavilion; traffic lights for Berkshire Valley Road; remediation of the police firearms range; and road striping.
Other work set for 2020 will not come out of the municipal budget, but will be paid for through utility fees.
Council introduced a bond ordinance for $180,000 for buying and installing a new rotating biological contractor for the White Rock sewer plant. The township operates the sewer service on the Milton side of the township, serving White Rock, Waters Edge, Berkshire Ridge, and Fairways.
Another bond ordinance for $145,000 is for the water system. A utility truck will cost $75,000 and computer equipment will be $70,000.