New Providence Council Adopts Funding Ordinance for Lieder Field Lighting; Sustainability Committee Outlines Plans to Target State Grants

NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ - The New Providence Borough Council Monday night adopted an ordinance to bond $110,000 of the projected $225,000 cost of constructing permanent lights at the borough’s Lieder Field athletic facility.

Also authorized was the advertisement for bids for construction of the lighting.

The New Providence Partnership for Recreation has spearheaded the effort to replace the temporary lights now used for evening athletic events and other functions with permanent lighting.

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The partnership, which is composed of members of the New Providence Athletic Foundation, the Police Athletic League, the New Providence Soccer Association and the Band Parents, has already raised $75,000 toward the total cost of the project.

Another $50,000 of the cost will come from a Kids Trust Recreation Grant from Union County.

Although the borough will bond the remaining $110,000, the partnership has pledged to raise the funds to pay back the borough over 10 years, thus leaving New Providence taxpayers with no cost for the project.

Based on bids recently awarded for similar projects, however, the cost of the Lieder Field project is expected to come in considerably lower than the current estimated cost, Borough Administrator Douglas Marvin said on December 6 when the bonding ordinance was introduced.

Only Council Public Works Committee Chairman James Cucco voted against adoption of the ordinance and the authorization to go out for bids.

Also at Monday’s meeting, the borough’s Sustainability Committee outlined steps it feels will be necessary for New Providence to complete in order to win grants from Sustainable New Jersey.

John Glendinning of the committee explained the borough needs to demonstrate “a good faith effort to become sustainable” in order to win the state awards. The first step in the process, he noted, would be the accumulation of 150 points that could lead to the Bronze designation. Accumulation of an additional 200 points would lead the borough to obtain the Silver designation.

Initially, he added, the community would have to establish a “Green Team,” which probably would consist of the members of the Sustainability Committee, the Borough Council and Public Works Director James Johnston.

The borough already has conducted an energy audit of municipal buildings, he noted, and an open space plan and wind ordinance are being developed.

Expansion of borough recycling efforts would add to the point total, according to Glendinning, as would borough efforts to expand usage of a recently-purchased tract of land adjacent to Veteran’s Park for such events as a celebration of Earth Day.

Cucco noted the Department of Public Works yard already is available to residents who wish to recycle batteries and used automotive oil.

The recycling center is open during normal business hours, Mayor John Thoms pointed out.

Glendinning suggested expanding recycling to include such items as carpeting now placed by residents at curbside during bulk pickup could help reduce the tipping fees the borough pays to have solid waste transported to the Union County Resource Recovery Plant.

On another matter, Marvin announced residents soon will be able to pay their property taxes on line and print a receipt right from their home computers thanks to an agreement the borough is expected to sign shortly with a vendor.

Residents currently can deposit tax payments at a lockbox in the Municipal Building or pay their taxes in person, he added, however, with decreases in the borough staff brought about for economic reasons, it is more efficient to handle as few transactions as possible manually.

The council also adopted resolutions creating the New Providence TV Production Board and approving an agreement with the borough Board of Education regarding joint management of the borough’s cable community access channels.

Council President Julia MacDermott, who did not seek reelection to the council, thanked borough volunteers who had served on various committees with her during her six years on the governing body.

She said borough employees “were unmatched anywhere” and said she was impressed by “their kindness, professionalism and willingness to serve the borough and its residents.”

MacDermott added she was proud of the accomplishments achieved by the mayors and members of council “past and present” who had sat on the dais with her. 

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