BERNARDSVILLE, NJ — The Bernardsville Borough Council recently passed an ordinance to appropriate $1,511,000 for several road improvements.

The money, which also includes the issuance of $915,000 bonds or notes of the borough and $550,000 in funding that the borough has received from a block grant, will pay for paving projects on Crestview Drive, Chestnut Avenue, Ravine Lake Road, Winwood Road, Washington Street, Whiteneck Road and Prospect Street.

Curb reconstruction, drainage improvements, engineering, surveys, equipment, work and materials necessary would also be covered by the money appropriated in the ordinance.

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Councilwoman Christine Zamarra recused herself from voting on the ordinance, which received a yes vote from all other members of  the Borough Council on Feb. 22.

A public hearing has been scheduled for March 8 on another ordinance introduced Feb. 22 that would appropriate $2.55 million and authorize the issuance of $2,183,800 bonds or notes of the borough for improvements that Bernardsville will undertake. 

"The purpose of this is that we can get very favorable long-term financing right now so the majority of the funding we're talking about here would be refinancing existing short-term debt with a long-term debt at a preferable lower interest rate," Councilman Tom O'Dea said. "We're estimating we might pay as low as 1 percent interest (rate) compared to the 2.5 percent interest rate that we had planned for the majority."

The funding includes work to be done on Bernards Avenue, as well as a fire truck, a front-end loader and improvements to the dam.