BRIDGEWATER, NJ - Budget transfers, block grant possibilities, road patches and library heating and air conditioning repairs were among the resolutions ratified unanimously at the most recent meeting of the Bridgewater Township Council.
The council first authorized budget transfers for appropriation reserve in the amount of $366,512. The funds will be used to settle claims from last year, although there may be some still to come.
The council also formally appointed Thomas Genoa as director of municipal services, after he had served as acting director since January. The position is separate from that of the township engineer, who used to oversee the entire department, and which consists of planning, zoning, code enforcement and a half-dozen areas in total.
“Six departments is a big job,” said Bridgewater Mayor Matthew Moench. “Tom has done a phenomenal job, and will continue to make a lot of progress.”
Council vice president Filipe Pedroso added that Genova has lived in town for many years, and was an “excellent choice.”
The council also authorized an agreement between the township and the Bridgewater-Raritan board of education for $256,153 for hazardous busing, used for students such as those who attend Milltown Primary School, which is in the vicinity of always-busy Route 22. Moench said he has his own objections to hazardous busing, particularly in how the figures are calculated, even as he added that costs this year are slightly lower than last year.
He add that it is state law, and that the township will continue to look at items it can control, such as a possible lack of sidewalks.
The council also approved a resolution regarding the 2020 Somerset County Community Development Block Grant, with four non-profit organizations having indicated they have viable projects in Bridgewater by which they would pursue the grant. The four groups include Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Somerset, Hunterdon and Warren Counties; Martin Luther King Youth Center; The Shimon and Sara Birnbaum Jewish Community Center, and; Visions and Pathways and Middle Earth.
Passage of the resolution does not guarantee funding support to any of the organizations.
Also approved was a measure to submit a grant application and execute a grant agreement with the New Jersey State Library, under the New Jersey State Library Construction Bond Act, for the first two phases of the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system replacement project at the Bridgewater library. The cost comes out to $2,517,306.
Councilman Allen Kurdyla, who has served as liason to the library, said he supports the grant.
“Hopefully, it will pay for the projected work,” he said.
Kurdyla added that the town engineer has reviewed the project on what to do and the best way to accomplish it. Council president Howard Norgalis said the grant is “very, very competitive,” and that Bridgewater is “asking for a big chunk of it.”
Township administrator Mike Pappas added that the grant will be a dollar-for-dollar match, if the township receives it.
The council awarded a $25,000 contract to Weldon Material, Inc., out of Watchung, for high performance hot patch for road surfaces. It also authorized the execution of an agreement this year with the Soccer Centers of Somerset and the Bridgewater Township Recreation Department for the spring and fall travel programs, with Soccer Centers to provide turf fields, referees and trainers at a maximum cost of $115,840.