WESTFIELD, NJ – The Westfield Town Council unanimously approved both the municipal budget and the special improvement district budget at its meeting Tuesday. The SID budge is funded entirely by downtown businesses. 

The council also introduced a special $2,365,000 bond ordinance authorizing various public improvements and replacement equipment throughout the town.

The bond primarily covers the cost of dredging Mindowaskin Pond, replacement vehicles for the public works department, the cost of building an annex on the public works building, utility portion for Memorial Park bathroom construction and the amendment of bond ordinance No. 2167 from June 2011.

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“We have money left over from paving the boulevard, so we’re using older money to pay for some of the new projects, which is very positive for us and it saves money for future painting jobs as well,” Town Administrator Jim Gildea said.

The council also passed 11 resolutions. During its conference meeting, members heard a brief presentation by Mike Bange, operations manager for NJ American Water.

Bange delivered his annual notice to the council, readying the town for drain cleaning and meter replacements around Westfield.

All repairs will be south of Clifton Street, between Rahway Avenue and Central Avenue, beginning on Monday, April 25, according to Bange. A temporary restoration in August will be completed followed by final restoration in October including topsoil and blacktop replacement.

A community report from Sam Della Fera advised the public of an upcoming zoning report from town planner Don Sammet, saying that a solar panel plan for residents may be in store. Della Fera also advised the council that a "monitored exchange zone" may be appropriate for Westfield, which could allow residents to comfortably conduct business transactoins through Craigslist and other online platforms in public.

“I think we might be able to establish such a location in town with minimal or any additional cost because there are certain areas in town, including outside the police station, that are monitored 24/7 by cameras," he said.