WARREN, NJ - On Thursday July 18, the Township Committee heard presentations on the $7 million bond financing for the Sewerage Authority, the possible expansion of the Municipal Complex, the rebuild of the Wagner Farm Barn, and usage of the Senior Citizens bus.
Doug Reeder of the Sewerage Authority said that they will be seeking $7 million in bond financing, of which $2 million is refinancing of old bonds issued in 2003 with first calls in December. The refinancing at reduced rates will allow a savings of approximately $150,000. The remainder is slated for capital improvements to include $1.8 million for an extension of the sewer system to bring 70-80 residents into the sewer system and off of septic.
After meeting with the township's senior citizens, it was decided to renew the contract for the senior citizens bus with reduced service from two days per week to one day per week. The cost will be reduced from approximately $30,000 to $15,000 per year.
The Wagner barn update revealed that ,mostly due to a soil compacting issue, the new barn will not be able to be built in the same loctaion as the old barn. The soft soil would require a cost prohibitive excavation of 7 feet of soil.
Feasibility studies are ongoing.
Deputy Mayor Gary DiNardo and Committeeman George Lazo presented a conceptual plan to replace the two 25-year-old police trailers that are at the end of their useful life and to move the municipal offices to a new efficient building.
DiNardo and Lazo visited other municipalities to get ideas. The conceptual plan utilizes the best of what they found including a resident friendly reception type area in an octagon shape. Each department would be represented and easily found. This set up would also allow for cross training.
The plan provides for approximately 15,400 square feet. The new building would be able to house the Police Department, police lockers and storage, and almost doubles the existing municipal office space. It would also allow for meeting room space. "We have 150 volunteers on boards in this town," Carolann Garafola said. "And we have a responsibility to have a building environment that is accessible."
Further discussion will include the potential use of the current municipal offices located in the former Nathan Hofheimer estate which is more than 100 years old, not Ada compliant, and with excessively hot second and third floors.
It was decided to move forward to talk to an architect and get a rendering.