VERNON TOWNSHIP, NJ - At the recent Vernon Township council work session, mayor Victor Marotta introduced the first presentation on the 2013 Capital Budget projected over the next five years.
Marotta stated the acquisition of two more police SUV’s moving to a new type of vehicle to be fully equipped with all-wheel drive at $72,000 taken from the budget’s surplus.
To be taken from the budget's surplus will be $28,000 for a playground repair for the basketball court and jungle gym equipment over a three-year term, to bring the equipment up tp brand new, in a means to make it safer for the children of the township to use.
There will be $500,000 to be used for the roof of the municipal building, and roof of the Department of Public Works (DPW) building, due to severe leaks that enter the building from rainy weather days.
Marotta stated that the problem stems from “all buildings with flat roofs.” The township has spent money patching the municipal building roof, but it has not changed the situation of the leaks.
Marotta also told members of the council and public that they are doing an assessment on the cost and the plan is to take $400,000 from capital budget, and $100,000 from the capital surplus.
Another line item will be $180,000, which will also be used for two mowers for the DPW, the balance for the second mower will be used from the capital surplus, and $120,000 will be the cost for road repairs in the township.
The capital budget of 2013 is $880,000 from other unused sources within the township.
The proposed capital budget will also be discussed at the next Vernon Township council meeting on Monday, March 11.
Town planner, Jessica Caldwell had attended the work session as well to discuss the development of the town center.
Caldwell spoke of the town center and said, “It had been in the past declared a redevelopment zone with some sewers going into place, and some tweaking at this point.”
The ordinance for the proposed town center was developed from a previous document in 2005.
Councilman Dan Kadish named some other towns to describe the ambiance and unification of the towns, and then stated, “I hope we don’t lose that here.”
Caldwell then stated there is a goal to create “more of an emphasis on the colonial architecture,” since there is already some in the town center.
“We need everything in composite to give it that feeling such as trees and lighting,” said councilman Eddie Dunn.
Council president Pat Rizutto described the lighting, using flowers, and fruit trees as “really beautiful,” while Caldwell had recommended flowers and trees on the streets.
“I think the unique thing about Vernon is we have a blank slate,” said Dunn. “The energy and what we have could make other towns envious. We reflect not just architecturally but how we think as a community.”
Marotta explained, “The land use board spent a lot of time and experience in this ordinance, I think it achieved what we want it to achieve.”
“The time is coming to take action, and with the economy taking over there will be inflation,” Marotta went on to say, “the town center is estimated at a 10-year process.”
“It will be a substantial impact to our community over the future,” said Dunn.
“We can get a guest speaker at every meeting to talk about transparency, and to let people know what we have here,” said councilman Dick Wetzel.
Transparency became an important key factor amongst the citizens of Vernon at the work session.
Resident Gary Martinsen, who has regularly been attending the work session meetings of the 2013 year, said he has been rather disappointed that SECTV has not been present.
“I think it is important to have work sessions recorded for the public,” Martinsen explained to the council.
Martinsen is not the only citizen who feels this way, as others have shared their opinions on SECTV in the past. Citizens said they would like the meetings recorded with hopes of the live meeting being streamed through the townships website for those who cannot attend the meetings to watch.
Citizens have voiced their opinions to the council and through the voicesofvernon.com forum’s page numerous times.
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