Government

Green Approves Bond Ordinance; Public Hearing Set For Feb. 11

The Green Township Committee, from left, Chris Bilik, Steve Kurzeja, Peg Phillips, Mayor Daniel Conkling, Administrator Linda Peralta and James Chirip Credits: By Jane Primerano
Committeeman Chris Bilik explains the fire department wanted to upgrade the pump on their new fire truck. but the new pump will produce the same number of gallons per minute. Credits: By Jane Primerano
Chirip studies the Fire Department change order, which listed several deletions and additions to the contract. Credits: By Jane Primerano
Mayor Daniel Conkling and Administrator Linda Peralta discuss the township's affordable housing plan which was not approved by the state at least partially due to changes on the state level.   Credits: By Jane Primerano
Committeewoman Peg Phillips notes the committee can assess the need for a new garage that will be funded in the new bond ordinance. Credits: By Jane Primerano

GREEN TOWNSHIP, NJ – A bond ordinance introduced by the township committee on Tuesday, Jan. 22, will fund a number of projects grouped within the ordinance to alleviate problems, if any go over budget.

Township Administrator Linda Peralta explained she worked with the township’s bond counsel to group the various projects and purchases, so some can be changed or cut if necessary.

The bond ordinance is for $601,700. The committee took $237,000 from the capital reserve fund, and $100,000 from the capital improvement fund.

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Out of that $458,500 will fund a garage at the municipal building, a generator, a salt shed, repairs to the municipal parking lot, and municipal building roof. Another portion of the ordinance will fund the purchase of an SUV, and a Department of Public Works truck. On their own in the ordinance are an ambulance and funds for work on recreation fields.

Committeeman Chris Bilik questioned why the township has to purchase an SUV and spend $25,000 to build a garage for it,vwhen there are five bays and the DPW.

Peralta explained all the money in the board ordinance does not have to be expended. “We can cancel portions at the end if we don’t do all the work,” she said.

If they buy a vehicle it needs to be an SUV because, “when you bond for a vehicle it must have a certain life expectancy,” she said. The SUV will be for the use of the First Aid Squad.

Committeewoman Peg Phillips said the vehicle must have a five-year life expectancy, and “cars don’t have it.”

Bilik asked why the township doesn’t lease a vehicle instead.

As for the garage, Mayor Daniel Conkling said,  “it doesn’t make sense to keep a vehicle without a garage. I don’t know if there is room at the DPW.”

A public hearing will be held on the bond ordinance at the Monday, Feb. 11 meeting.

Also at the next meeting, the committee will discuss a type of memorial for deputy court administrator Sherri Hansen, who died unexpected recently.

Conkling said he had been talking to Peralta about “a couple of things we can do.”

The mayor praised Hansen, a 14-year employee of the township: “I never heard her complain, and she always filled in with other departments when needed.”

The Monday, Feb. 11 meeting will also feature a discussion of the township’s Hillside property, which was purchased for affordable housing.

Peralta said township attorney Richard Stein will attend that meeting after researching how the township’s affordable housing spending plan should be worded. She said Gov. Chris Christie’s disbanding of the Council on Affordable Housing (COAH),and that action being overturned by the state Supreme Court, has created a problem for municipalities.

While Stein will be at the February meeting, he will not attend every meeting.

The committee will still pay Stein a retainer, but will not require attendance at meetings with a “light agenda,” Conkling said.

“I’m not afraid to spend money on things that are necessary, but I don’t think this is necessary,” the mayor said about having an attorney at every meeting.

The committee may also speak to fire department officials at the next meeting.

The fire department ordered a new pumper truck which is due to be delivered by the end of February. The committee received a change order for $7,288 at Tuesday’s meeting, but the change order was dated in September.

“They knew in September,” Conkling said. “They met with Frelinghuysen.”

The fire company is shared with neighboring Frelinghuysen Township in Warren County. “They never asked us to consider these changes,” the mayor added.

The original amount the township was asked to pay for the pumper was $144,952, Peralta said.

They will pay that, but not the change order, which is for an upgraded pump.

 

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