The focus of the March 13 meeting was primarily on the 2017 budget and the proposal to build a new public works facility at the fire station on Hawkin Road.
The 2017 budget was introduced. All committee members had the opportunity to ask questions. Committeeman Barton, who had obviously examined the budget closely, asked numerous questions. Deputy Mayor Yates also asked questions. Committee members Franzen and Brown did not.
Some of the questions asked were:
- What’s the size of the proposed salary increase for township staff? It’s 3 percent.
- Does the budget include a new car for the fire chief? No.
- Why budget $500,000 to purchase land for a new public works facility, if the facility is going to be built at the fire station on Hawkin Road? No answer.
- How much does the township pay for the bond for the Emergency Services Building. In 2016, $280,000.
The proposed budget is $4,276,422. The amount to be raised by taxes will be $2,781,465. The public hearing will be held April 24.
New Public Works Facility
When the budget was first presented, it included $500,000 for the purchase of land on Chatsworth Road. This land is not zoned for municipal facilities. At the March 13 meeting, the Township Engineer Dante Guzzi presented a preliminary sketch showing a public works facility located at the fire station site and the old Tabernacle Rescue Squad building (aka: Community Center) across the street.
The “Space Committee,” headed by Committeeman Franzen, is suggesting that the existing public works area be turned into a park.
The township committee plans to discuss the proposed public works facility in the coming months.
The next township meeting will be held March 27, 7:30 PM, at town hall.