Jackson Council To Finance Capital Improvements

Jackson Town Hall (Photo by Micromedia Publications)

  JACKSON – Township officials introduced a bonding ordinance that would be used toward various capital improvements around the community including projects within its park facilities.

  During the council’s July 23 meeting council members unanimously voted to introduce the bond ordinance which would provide for various capital improvements and the acquisition of various capital equipment appropriating $3,217,809.93 and authorizing the issuance of  $2,374,958.00  bonds and notes to finance those costs and re-appropriating $717,853.68.

  Such capital improvements include township facilities such as its various parks. Resident and dog owner Jim Bezanson expressed concerns about the upkeep of the township’s dog park located in Johnson’s Park during the public portion period of the meeting.

  Bezanson said he had been in communication with Township Business Administrator Terence M. Wall regarding the issue.

  “Parking is a little low, grass is about 15 inches high and there is a big chunk of it today is flooded out from last night’s rain and we had discussed many of the grading issues. I wanted to see where we stand with that as people hammer me every day on what is going on at the dog park,” said Bezanson.

  Wall responded saying that “ongoing maintenance is a topic of discussion within public works and we are looking to make sure maintenance is regular.”

  Regarding an issue of a gazebo project, Wall said an Eagle Scout project may cover work toward that endeavor.

  Concerning grading, Wall said he spoke with the public works director about that ongoing issue. “There is a natural topography there that doesn’t lend itself to scrapping it all back because you are disrupting a slightly rolling field where dogs run and play.”

  “There is a piece where a faucet is left on that is flooded dogs drink water there,” Wall added. “As far as the topography and flattening it that is a bit of a task so we have to see whether that makes sense which is separate from the parking lot in the areas where there are potholes. We have to make sure that parking lot is attended to appropriately.”

  “The governing body is interested in the capital ordinance as well for funding to the extent that we may engage in more capital work for that,” Wall added.

  Wall said the divot issue and potholes would be an ongoing maintenance issue and that “the public works department is aware of. It is a recurring issue. There is a digging of holes and that is what dogs do so we will schedule regular maintenance.”

  Bezanson said that the high crab grass present featured “areas that are very, very thick. I understand the rolling topography. There is a 25-foot wide pond there and I know if a house had issues like that the developer would have to make sure it did that right. This is township land. I appreciate your guys’ ongoing conversation and I look forward to speaking to you again.”

  Council President Robert Nixon thanked Bezanson for bringing the issue to the governing body’s attention. “Parks improvement is a major priority,” he said, noting that council liaison Councilman Andrew Kern is working on the issue of improving the township’s recreational facilities.

  Kern was responsible for a ruling earlier this year that allowed for a funding mechanism for such improvements through private and business donations for the sole purpose of projects designed to enhance the township’s parks and recreation resources.

  Bezanson noted that some resident’s reference to the dog park being new was a point of humor as “to my knowledge the dog park has been around for at least 10 years.”

  “Everything is about re-branding,” Nixon joked.

  Council members unanimously approved an ordinance on final reading for the acceptance of a land donation on Frank Applegate Road. The governing body also approved the introduction of ordinances designed to make its construction codes more uniform and to amend a township code involving landlord registration and responsibility.

  The council also voted to introduce an ordinance which would amend a township code entitled housing standards as well as to modify code concerning rental and lease housing standards. Council members also approved an ordinance authorizing the lease of property at 113 N. New Prospect Rd.

  Officials authorized a capital budget amendment for the township’s municipal capital budget for 2019 and also ratified an adjustment to the contract price of a contract awarded to Mark Woszczak, Mechanical Contractors for emergency/non-emergency road, storm sewer and infrastructure work.

  Council members approved a resolution authorizing the execution of a contract award between Jackson and Action Uniform Co. LLC. For the purchase of police uniforms on an as needed basis for a two year period with the option to renew for one additional two year period.

  Construction of an expanded Pine Drive jug handle and placing maintenance responsibility with the private owner was also approved through a resolution during the meeting

  Looking to review its master plan officials agreed to a professional services agreement not to exceed $20,000 with Remington & Vernick Engineers, as the township planner to reexamine the master plan.

  The Council also voted to approve a resolution for a pedestrian safety grant from the New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety to increase the amount of the award from $3,960 TO $6,270.

  The council also authorized the submission and acceptance of a grant application to the state’s Dept. of Law and Public Safety Division of Highway Traffic Safety for the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” Labor Day crackdown grant.

  Also approved was the preparation of advertisement and acceptance of bids for emergency/non-emergency public works repair and service work within the township.