WEST ORANGE, NJ – With every West Orange household paying $65 more in taxes this coming year according to the 2 percent tax increase needed to cover 2017 budgetary expenditures, the West Orange Township Council reviewed some of the major upgrades these dollars will make possible.

John Gross, chief financial officer of the township, attended the mayor and council meeting on Tuesday at the West Orange Town Hall in order to discuss these upgrades.

Among the upgrades covered by the 2017 budget is the project to improve the Ginny Duenkel Pool. This project will make the pool more handicap accessible and expand its parking area for the 2018 summer season, according to Gross.

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He said that the township’s engineering department would work with an architect on the upgrades, which he said will make it easier for seniors and people with physical disabilities to utilize the pool in 2018.

Council President Joe Krakoviak noted that major dollars must be spent on infrastructure upgrades, including $4 million on road resurfacing projects. He said it will cost between $600,000 and $700,000 on sewer upgrades.

In addition, Business Administrator John Sayers pointed out that five new pick-up or dump trucks with plows are needed to replace the old ones the township is currently using. Gross added that the firehouses will also need renovations this year.

During a council discussion at the end of the meeting, Councilwoman Susan McCartney asked Sayers what is being done to address complaints from residents that the odors coming from the township’s recycling center are particularly bad this time of year.

Sayers said that he is on top of this situation, but that people should be aware that weather and wind conditions are a major factor in how much the odors coming from the recycling center can be smelled in the adjoining neighborhood.

“This time of year, from March to July, is when we get the most complaints because the mulch smells the worst,” he said. “We do have an odor-suppression system in place. I hope this will help.”

To read more about this meeting, click HERE.