Capital Budget Discussion Continued at Berkeley Heights Council Meeting

Berkeley Township Council meeting June 27, 2017. Credits: Barbara Rybolt

BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - Township Council heard from CFO Mike Marceau about the proposed Capital Budget at its Tuesday, June 27 meeting.

The township has a six-year capital plan which is used as a planning guide to help the township prepare for major equipment purchases, pay for road maintenance, and expected repairs or renovations of township-owned property, among other things. The Capital Budget was discussed earlier in the year, but has not been officially adopted.

Marceau said the actual approval to make purchases or repairs requires an authorization to finance the purchases through a bond. The bond ordinance will be introduced at the July 18 meeting, if all goes as planned, and the public hearing and adoption would be held at the Aug. 12 meeting of the council.

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Some, but not all of the items in the 2017 Capital Budget, which are listed by category include, by department:

Public Works:

·         Funding for the 2017 and 2018 road program. The funding for the 2019 program will then be moved up to 2018. A new program begins in 2020.

Police Department:

·         Replacement of two vehicles – the two old vehicles will be moved into service in other departments

·         Breathalyzer equipment – necessary because the laws have changed and they need to be upgraded

Rescue Squad:

·         Communication upgrade

·         Digital signage 

·         Decontamination area 

Items under consideration for the Rescue Squad, for which there may be grant money, or the township can do itself are:

·         Remove a wall so there will be one large meeting room

·         A generator upgrade – which could be paid for by a FEMA grant, so the township will try for one of those

Fire Department:

·         Mobile Command Unit - this would replace the chief’s 1992 truck

Office of Emergency Management:

·         For the sixth year in a row, the OEM coordinator has asked for a Gator – an all-terrain vehicle that would cost, with accessories, about $24,000. Two council members, Manny Couto and Marc Faecher did not support the idea, while two did – Craig Pastore and Jeanne Kingsley did. No vote was taken and the matter remained unresolved at the end of the meeting.

The bond ordinance will be introduced at the July 18 meeting of the council. Members of the public are welcome to attend. The meeting will be held at 7 p.m., in the Town Hall, 29 Park Ave., in the council chambers.

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