STAFFORD – The Stafford Township council adopted an ordinance at the Feb. 27 meeting, appropriating $4,945,000, $4,697,750 of that amount in bonds, to finance various capital improvements and the purchase of capital equipment for the town.
The bond ordinance labels these expenditures as “general improvements” to the township, noting that a down payment of $247,250 is required by Local Bond Law for the total sum of the appropriations. The remaining balance of $4,697,750 will be financed through bonds.
“It’s not an exact number, but that’s how much we’re bonding for,” said Mayor John Spodofora. “(If) we don’t need that much,” we won’t use it all, he explained.
The bond ordinance includes various improvements, including public works upgrades and equipment. The ordinance lists the upgrades as a new leaf vacuum truck, new and replacement grounds equipment, vehicle maintenance equipment, an LED lighting system for a township building, street sign replacement, two replacement garbage trucks, the refurbishment of a street sweeper, a replacement snow plow, a replacement dump truck with snow plow, a new asphalt machine and asphalt roller, and replacement drainage pipes.
The public works portion of the ordinance, listed above, will run the township approximately $2,203,750; $2,093,563 of which will be paid for through bonds.
In addition to these upgrades, the 2018 Paving Program will run the township approximately $1,253,700; $1,191,015 of which will be bonded for. The program will work to mill and overlay roads such as Serpent Lane, Yeoman Road, Cutter Lane, Quadrant Road, Lubbers Lane, Squall Road, Jetsam Road, Flotsam Road, Sloop Road, Voyager Road, Commodore Road, Compass Court and Atlantis Avenue.
A series of IT equipment upgrades will cost approximately $90,725; $86,189 of which will be bonded for. These include: hardware life cycle replacement capacity expansion, replacement network servers, digital signal amplifiers, replacement desk phones, video camera system for the Township Council room, and miscellaneous repairs.
The ordinance also provides for equipment for the Stafford Township Police Department. Five new patrol vehicles and emergency equipment will run the township approximately $317,750; $301,862 of which will be bonded for.
Mayor Spodofora noted at a recent Township Council meeting that it is essential to maintain the department’s equipment. Resident Matthew Kline remarked that the police vehicles “take a beating” and need to be cared for to provide adequate service to residents.
Other improvements include:
- The replacement of the Ocean Acres Lake Park Playground equipment and sodding of the fields at the cost of approximately $461,250; $438,187 of which will be bonded for.
- Bulk scanning of permanent records at the cost of approximately $255,000; $242,250 of which will be bonded for.
- Replacement turnout gear and air packs for the township’s fire company at the cost of approximately $85,075; $80,821 of which will be bonded for.
The final improvement labeled in the ordinance was a cause of concern for some residents, and a delight to others, present for the final reading. This portion of the ordinance allows for the construction of an open air pavilion and two bathrooms at Mill Creek Park. This will cost be approximately $277,750; $263,863 of which will be bonded for.
Township Administrator Jim Moran said that the bathrooms and pavilion are to be constructed by in-house personnel. The bathroom construction will be underway by spring and hopefully completed by summer time, he added.
A few residents were upset that the council chose to build a pavilion and bathrooms at the park as opposed to constructing a new community center at Mill Creek.
To this, Councilman William Fessler noted that it was a long process but the council came to the conclusion that it would not have been cost-effective to build a new community center.