Government

Need for $50,000 Dog Park 'Critical,' But Details Are Scarce

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FLEMINGTON, NJ – Three weeks after the Hunterdon County Freeholders approved a $6.16 million spending plan for open space preservation and capital spending projects, some details remain vague.

The ordinance approved by the Freeholders on June 20 stated that details would be “described in documents on file in office of the county’s Chief Financial Officer.”  

The next day, TAPinto filed an Open Public Records Request for the documents.

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Such documents are often available for immediate inspection. But on June 30, county Records Custodian Alessandro Illiano wrote in an email that he wasn’t able to provide the documents promptly because of the size of the request and because the “records require extensive medium conversion.” He sought an extension of time to provide the records.

On July 7, Illiano emailed the documents. They total four pages.

While information regarding more than $5.5 million for farmland preservation and open space projects is detailed, other details are lacking.

Documentation was vague for the $50,000 dog park; $300,000 to “repair and maintain parks and bridges; $200,000 to create and maintain new and existing park trails; and $30,000 to “construct/maintain pavilions in parks.”

The records show the need for the dog park is claimed to be “critical.” But a field on the form to “identify major spending components and estimate the cost of each” is left blank. That field is also blank on records provided for the park pavilions,

On Monday, TAPinto filed a second OPRA request seeking details on those projects.

Editor's Note / Update: After this article was published, the county responded with two additional pages of information which have been added to the article. In an email, Illiano stated that the county administrator "requested that additional financial details not be provided in as much as bids, contracts could be impacted."

 

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