BRIDGEWATER, NJ - The Bridgewater Township Council recently approved a collection of resolutions that authorize budget transfers among municipal accounts, a change order for a sewer rehabilitation project and several housekeeping issues in light of the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The resolutions were passed collectively by a unanimous vote of the five council members at the March 30 meeting, which was conducted online due to COVID-19 concerns.
The council authorized one budget transfer through the municipal appropriation reserve for $336,868 in the sewer utility find, and another for $818. Township administrator Michael Pappas said that the transfers were of “unspent funds” that will be re-routed to where the township needs them.
Another resolution was the execution of various documents in connection with the Somerset County Improvement Authority’s Municipal Banc Program, which Pappas said will be specifically used to purchase police vehicles.
The municipal governing body also approved a change order of $37,207, or 4.38 percent, for the Pine Street sanitary sewer rehabilitation project, which is being funded through the township’s 2017 Capital Sewer Fund. The overall price decreased from $848,573 to $811,365.
“It’s a big project,” said council president Howard Norgalis.
A contract was awarded to Appraisal Systems, Inc., out of Morristown, to perform professional appraisal inspections and related services in connection with Bridgewater’s 2020 reassessment program, for an amount not to exceed $59,520.
“It’s a rotating plan, every four years,” said Norgalis.
He added that 25 percent of the township’s homes are assessed annually, and that Bridgewater has a ”large and successful history” with this particular assessment firm.
The council also authorized a stormwater management agreement between Bridgewater and R.I. Heritage Inn of Bridgewater, LLC, and S.S. Heritage Inn of Bridgewater, LLC, for a hotel, restaurant and medical office facility that will be located at the site of the former Days Inn, on Route 22.
The Days Inn was demolished in 2018.
The council also waived a $10 administrative fee that would have been charged to participants who had requested a refund from the township’s recreation program, due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The council approved a resolution that extends vacation time carryover provisions of the township’s municipal code from June 30 through Dec. 31 of this year, in consideration of staffing requirements.
Pappas said the extension to the end of the calendar year is extended as a courtesy, especially if employees have vacation time that expires at the end of June, with the coronavirus pandemic ongoing. Council vice president Filipe Pedroso thanked all those employees who have delayed their vacations.
The council also unanimously approved an ordinance to amend the township’s municipal code to further amend and clarify the organizational structure of both the Department of Municipal Services and the Department of Public Works and Park Maintenance. The original public hearing had been carried over from the council’s March 16 meeting.