NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ – The Borough Council authorized the bidding process for the demolition and restoration project of the Ping Wang Greenhouses and accepted Maser Consulting proposal for administering the Wastewater Treatment Plant garage project at its Monday, Jan. 23 meeting.
Councilman Jim Madden explained that the initial testing of the material at the Ping Wang property did not show any lead or asbestos. The bidding for the clean-up project will open next week. Madden expects the work to begin sometime in the spring.
The construction project of the Wastewater Treatment Plant garage was approved in October. Once completed the masonry garage building will house the Department of Public Works’ (DPW) sewer jet equipment. The natural gas powered infra-red heating system will keep the equipment ready for any emergency sewer operations.
Mayor Al Morgan also noted that the DPW’s garage needs to be refurbished. He explained that the equipment is larger nowadays and it is difficult to get the machinery through the old doors of the 70+ year old garage. Borough Administrator Doug Marvin agreed and said that the borough will start setting aside funds for the garage renovation starting this year. It was noted that proper storage space for expensive equipment makes that equipment last longer.
Additionally, the council heard an update from JCP&L representative Rob Walton. Walton explained that the utility company’s rate hike took effect on Jan. 1st this year. Residents should expect to see approximately a six percent increase in their electricity bills. However, Walton said that the rate hike is necessary for maintaining and upgrading the utility’s infrastructure.
Walton also said that JCP&L has upgraded the Green Village circuit this fall as well as replaced three utility poles recently in New Providence. The pole replacement has now been completed in New Providence. The poles are inspected every 10 years by third party inspectors. He noted that New Providence “lucked out” during the Monday storm and no one lost electricity. The recent tree trimming helped the town to avoid outages, he said.
He also advised that the utility company is looking for opportunities to meet with local organizations to talk about electrical safety, liability and power restoration. Additionally, JCP&L is recruiting students for their associate program in electrical work in which the students are trained to became linesmen and are “almost always guaranteed a job.” The three year program is paid by the company. The first class of approximately 30 students will graduate this year. The company holds open houses in community colleges.
In regard to other news Madden informed the council that the turfing of the lower Oakwood Park Field has been completed. However, he said that the field will not be open until April 1st and cautioned everybody to stay out of the field until the official opening date. Madden noted that the borough is trying to accommodate every sports group using the field. “I hope that this turf will alleviate the field shortage,” he said.