MAPLEWOOD, NJ - The Township Committee on Tuesday discussed the 2014 Capital Budget which will likely come back before the committee for a vote at the next meeting, according to Township Administrator Joseph Manning.

The various departments in the township requested a total of about $4.9 million for capital projects, said Mayor Victor De Luca.

The Finance Committee recommended a capital of $3,166,522 with $158,326 coming out of the current budget for a down payment. The remaining $3,008,196 would need to be bonded, said De Luca.

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“We are retiring $3,245,000, so the new debt is 93 percent of what we are retiring,” he added. “Most of that is fueled by some big ticket items: a new Jitney and a fire engine, in addition the repaving of Springfield Avenue.”

Another $70,000 was added to the Council on Affordable Housing, which had gone down to about $4,000. They also added $130,000 to the parking lot improvement at 60 Woodland Road.

“We added $130,000 so we could complete the parking lot on the other side of the building,” De Luca said.
The Township Committee expects to recoup some of the money through its negotiations with the developer for the Post Office site.

“Basically we are borrowing seven percent less than we paid off,” said Committeewoman India Larrier.
The Township Committee unanimously voted to accept the recommendation of the Finance Committee. A vote will come before the Committee most likely during the March 4 meeting.

In other news:

An ordinance will soon come before the Maplewood Township Committee to allow overnight non-garage parking for commercial vehicles in residential driveways. The ordinance would only include light duty commercial vehicles up to 8,500 pounds gross vehicle weight. The recommendation came from the Code Committee which is trying to be inclusive of people who own their own businesses, said Larrier.

The Zoning Board weighed in on the 4-foot fence vs. 6-foot fence controversy recommending that 6-foot fences only be allowed at the rear of a property which abuts another rear property. Concerns were raised as to whether 6-foot fences would impede police officers in the event of a chase. Deputy Mayor Kathleen Leventhal and Committeeman Gerard Ryan expressed opposition to the 6-foot fences.