SOMERSET, NJ -- The council on Tuesday approved more than $14 million in bonds to pay for projects across the township, improvements to the water utility and work on Williams Park. The governing body also passed an ordinance appropriating $1.7 million from the Open Space Trust Fund and another to lease little league baseball fields to the South Bound Brook/Somerset Little League. 

Each of the five ordinances considered by the council passed unanimously. 

Of the $7.7 million in bonds approved last night for the water utility, $3.8 million will pay for annual water main replacement throughout the township, pump station upgrades and the construction of a water line extension to the Kingston section of town. The bond package also allots $3 million for purchasing and replacing water meters in Franklin. The remainder of the funds are earmarked for new equipment and an inspection system intended to expedite the identification and repair of faulty equipment. 

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Another $5.4 million of the approved bonds will pay for capital improvements and equipment purchases for a variety of departments and projects. This includes new vehicles and equipment for the police department and public works, more than $1 million towards resurfacing roads and sidewalks, and repairs to the municipal, public safety, and public works buildings.  

The third bond ordinance authorized the issuance of more than $1.4 million in bonds to pay for upgrades to the tennis, pickleball and basketball courts at Williams Park, a new facility at Willow Park, and new lighting and paving in the parking lot of the little league field. 

In addition to these bond ordinances, the council also appropriated $1.7 million from the Open Space Trust Fund to pay for additional improvements in parks across the township. These include projects like the final phase of Catalpa Park’s construction, new or upgraded playground equipment at Nasseau Park, East Millstone Park and Middlebush Park. The appropriations also include money for equipment like trash stations, lawnmowers and “miscellaneous site amenities.” 

The ordinance passed by the council to lease little league baseball fields to South Bound Brook/Somerset Little League allows the fields’ use for five years at the cost of $1 per year. 

The governing body introduced another ordinance on first reading that would outsource the administration and hiring of township police officers for outside work to Visual Computer Solutions, a Freehold-based workforce management company. If the council approves the ordinance on May 26, Visual Computer Solutions will manage all contracting and hiring of police officers for work outside the department.

Township Manager Robert Vornlocker said this service would come at no cost to the township, with Visual Computer Solutions taking a fee from those hiring officers.

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