NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ – A new fire truck, equipment for the Public Works Department, improvements to roads and streets, a new traffic light and improvements to municipal buildings are a few of the items included in this year’s New Providence capital budget.

Council President Michael Gennaro introduced an ordinance appropriating $3,631,600 and authorizing the issuance of $3,450,000 in bonds or notes to finance part of the cost.

Included in the planned expenditures is $225,000 for improvements, including a traffic light at the intersection of Central Avenue and Maple Street.

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Over the past several years the intersection has been plagued by numerous accidents, including a motorcycle-car fatality a few months ago.

“I can’t understand why there have been so many accidents there,” Mayor Al Morgan said. He added the borough had implemented many solutions but the only answer is the installation of a traffic light.

Major appropriations include $949,000 for the borough’s streets and roads program (including the traffic light); $805,000 to acquire a fire engine; $592,000 for improvements to municipal buildings and the senior center; $573,000 for Public Works that includes the purchase of two large trucks, a smaller pick-up and a backhoe; $345,000 to acquire pumps, valves and controls for the Wastewater Treatment Plant; and, $127,000 to refurbish a Rescue Squad ambulance.

In a unique application of shared services, Councilman Dr. Bob Robinson introduced a resolution employing Cindy Reis as a full-time administrative assistant.

Previously, Reis served as a part-time employee responsible for public information and economic development. She will continue in those roles in her new position but will also serve as manager for the Downtown Improvement District with more than half her salary paid by the DID.

“She’s an excellent choice for the position and shows our commitment to the DID,” Robinson said.

For the past few years, the borough and Berkeley Heights have shared municipal court costs located in New Providence. That agreement has been amended and now New Providence will have full responsibility for the court system charging Berkeley Heights a fee.

“It will save them (Berkeley Heights) a little money and make us a little money,” the mayor said.

As most motorists have experienced, it’s the season for potholes. Borough Administrator Doug Marvin said that thus far, borough crews have used 36 tons of asphalt to fill the holes. Councilman Gennaro complemented local efforts but said he was less than pleased with county maintained roads in the borough.

Finally, the New Providence Education Foundation will conduct their second annual 5K race on Oct. 11. Foundation official Jama Vitale appeared at the council meeting to seek borough permission to use public streets for the race.