RANDOLPH, NJ - Township Manager Stephen Mountain presented an ambitious list of 18 goals for 2017 at Thursday’s council meeting.
“The majority of goals listed below are attainable in the coming year,” read the manager’s memo to the council, “while some are part of the next stage of a multi-year objective. All require the support of the council and a coordinated effort by the staff to complete."
The manager’s top priority for the year is putting the 2017 budget in place.
"We are well along in our process of internally assembling the proposed budget for the council's review," Mountain said. "We are looking to do as we always do, which is balance the short and long term needs of the township, as well as looking to minimize tax impact, particularly this year with the revaluation."
"We set as a goal to make the tax levy the same as in the prior year, and I can tell the council that we will be successful in that." Mountain added. "We feel that we've done it in a way that is intelligent, we utilize surplus wisely and done nothing... to compromise the organization or kick issues down the line."
The second goal addressed the completed revaluation process and educating the public about next steps.
“Essentially the only component left is really continued public communication about the revaluation to make sure residents are educated properly about what the assessment means to their properties and how it will affect them with respect to tax impact,” Mountain stated.
One of the largest projects on the list is Butterworth III. The memo reads, “These improvements include the construction of a pump station on Old Shunpike, refurbishment of Musiker pump station, finalizing line construction in Brookside Road and extending the service line into the Harvey Terrace/ Carellen Place neighborhood.”
“This sewer project has been on the horizon for the municipality for the better part of 30 years,” Mountain explained. He is working with the consulting engineer to finalize the plans and put this “fairly ambitious final stage” out to bid.
Residents will be happy to hear the construction of a new cell tower will begin in 2017.
“I will be pushing the tower construction company to move the project ahead to the planning board for view of the site plan,” Mountain explained. “I’m very hopeful that once they have Verizon signed up they’ll be willing to do that while they continue to actively market to other carriers.”
The manager and council will also be reviewing the curbside leaf collection policy, specifically focusing on the restrictions placed on private contractors.
“There is a cost associated with it, and we built that into the operating budget proposal,” Mountain continued. “We feel it’s a reasonable cost benefit approach given the amount of communication we’ve heard from residents about this particular issue.”
The 90 Acres park facility is another sizeable goal for the township. Mountain will work with a designer to finalize the plan and construction specifications for the new park. “The goal is to have the project out for bid by fall 2017,” read the memo.
Mountain’s goal for the Trails Master Plan is to have a draft of the plan ready for review by the Council in early summer 2017.
“I see no reason why that goal will not be met,” Mountain said. “The consultant is very good, and everybody is rolling up their sleeves on that project.”
Additional goals include economic development, infrastructure improvements, an update to the Mount Freedom Plan, EA Porter site remediation, further work with NJDOT on Route 10 improvements, township communications, a fire training facility and open space acquisition.