HOLMDEL, NJ - It may be summer but the Holmdel Township Committee is staying busy with Township work.
During the regular meeting on Tuesday, elected officials moved forward with authorizing funding for capital improvements in town. The bond ordinance exceeded $9 million and addressed several initiatives of the governing body. Of particular note is a new Emergency Service Building and related items. No plans have been finalized but the financing is being lined up. The ordinance's $5 million value for this item is the result of many months of discussion and public input in regard to emergency service readiness, particularly with the fire protection.
Also, each year Holmdel undertakes road paving improvements and this was included as well. This year they will fund about $1.6 million. The list of streets (including sidewalks and drainage) is on file at the Municipal Clerks office. Some of the other improvements are:
- $652,000 - Various improvements to public buildings and facilities.
- $1,804,000 - Acquisition of new additional or replacement equipment and machinery, new information technology and telecommunications equipment, new communication and signal systems equipment and new automotive vehicles.
The required down payment under municipal bond law is 5% so the amount from the 2019 budget will be about $434,900 and the rest ($8,695,100) will be new debt for the municipality. You can view commentary by members of the governing body here (courtesy of CILU)
During the meeting, the Committee added a resolution to to hire a consultant for approximately $10,000 to help them hire a new administrator. The administrator ordinance banning elected officials from taking the job was also changed. Deputy Mayor Mike Nikolis requested two changes.
The first would not allow Vieiro to be hired for at least two years. The second would add that anyone found guilty of an ethics violation would not be able to take the job. Recently, Assemblywoman and former Mayor Serena DiMaso had ethics charges filed against her, but they were subsequently dismissed after an investigation.
Further related to the departed administrator, the governing body was asked by resident and former Board of Education President Ralph Blumenthal if there is public information on the agreement with the now former Township Administrator Donna Vieiro. That started a dialogue on the Open Public Record Act referred to as OPRA, (seen in video above).
Township Attorney Michael Collins stated that there have been OPRA requests for the settlement information between the town and Vieiro but he has denied them. He said they are confidential under a personnel exemption. Under the OPRA, a municipality, generally, cannot legally shield mutual releases or financial settlements between towns and former employees as can be reviewed HERE.
In other business, the Mayor read a resolution acknowledging the hard work of the Holmdel Historical Society. It can be viewed below:
RESOLUTION APPROVING CONTRIBUTION TO HOMDEL HISTORICAL SOCIETY
WHEREAS, the Holmdel Historical Society is a non-profit group that researches, collects and preserves artifacts, manuscripts, photographs and all things related to the history of Holmdel Township; and
WHEREAS, in February 2019, the Holmdel Historical Society received a $5,531 grant from the Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders that will improve and/or repair a building of Holmdel’s historic significance; and to assist in the restoration of the exterior of the Old St. Catherine’s Church; and
WHEREAS, volunteers are currently working on repairs to the Church and painting of the exterior is slated to begin in August, 2019; and
WHEREAS, the Township of Holmdel wishes to contribute $5,000.00 to further assist in the restoration of the church; and
WHEREAS, the Acting Chief Financial Officer has certified to the Purchasing Agent that funds are available;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Township Committee of the Township of Holmdel approve the contribution of $5,000.00 to the Holmdel Historical Society for the purpose of assisting in the restoration of Old St. Catherine Church.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Mayor and Township Committee of the Township of Holmdel acknowledge the work and contributions of the Holmdel Historical Society, including the sincere efforts of President Peter Maneri and Treasurer Rhonda Beck in preserving one of Holmdel’s historic treasures.
The next meeting is August 13th.