NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ – The Borough Council unanimously approved a bond ordinance providing a supplemental appropriation of $210,000 for improvements to the municipal center which will house emergency dispatch services for both New Providence and Summit.

The two municipalities are splitting expenses for the center and sharing anticipated revenues from call handling from other communities, including the Millburn Fire Department.

Borough Administrator Doug Marvin told council members that Summit had already introduced a similar ordinance.

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In addition to the fire department, Millburn, has for months, been considering joining the partnership as an equal partner and having all the town’s emergency calls handled by the new center.

“Millburn gave us a very positive impression of joining,” Councilman Robert Munoz said. Councilman Dr. Bob Robinson agreed and added that Millburn had been informed that a decision was needed by April 1.

“We’ll be great with them and we’ll be great without them,” Robinson said.

Downtown parking and traffic pattern issues were addressed by Councilman Gary Kapner and Robinson, who were enthusiastic about a recent meeting with senior Union County officials arranged by a Freeholder to discuss improvements to the downtown area. Both councilmen said they walked away from the meeting with a strong degree of confidence with additional meetings planned.

Kapner said that in addition to parking and traffic control, the officials also discussed pedestrian safety and walking connectivity. The two major downtown thoroughfares of South Street and Springfield Avenue are county roads that would require county approval for any changes.

For residents who regularly travel on Central Avenue, relief is a bit closer, as the Borough Council approved an authorization to bid a contract to install curb-cuts for handicapped access to sidewalks along the road.

Also, there’s a name change in the future for the New Providence Senior Center. Councilman Armand Galluccio said the center will be renamed The DeCorso Community Center at New Providence to reflect the expanded usage of the building by all age groups.

Talking about seniors, Ray Cooney of the Barabush Manor, which offers affordable housing for senior citizens, said a recently installed emergency generator worked flawlessly last week when the manor lost power for a few hours. Cooney also presented the council with a $25,000 check for the manor’s share of the generator cost. “You have our thanks and appreciation,” he told the council.

“Go green,” was certainly the theme, as John Glendinning, Barbara Friedman, Doug Sullivan and Ian Singer were on hand to update the council on the efforts of the borough’s Sustainability Committee.

Glendinning offered a lengthy list of accomplishments and said certification by Sustainable Jersey will provide access to annual grant opportunities. Residents interested in becoming a committee member can access the borough’s website for additional information.