Monday, July 16, 2007

Council Meeting Tonight

The City Council will hold an agenda session tonight at 7:30 p.m. in City Hall Library.

The regular meeting will be 8 p.m. Wednesday in Municipal Court.
This is the only set of meetings in July.

Several bond ordinances will be up for second reading and final passage Wednesday. The public will have a chance to speak on each one. The largest one is for $7.03 million, for street repairs. The streets involved are Stilford Avenue, Fayette Place, Kensington Avenue, South Second Street, North Avenue, Evergreen Avenue, Gavett Place, Netherwood Avenue, Maplewood terrace, West Eighth Street (sounds of cheering may be heard), Watchung Avenue, Brook Lane, Court Place and "various streets" to be determined by the City Council.

This project is part pf a multi-year plan to fix streets most in need of repair as determined by testing. At the time of its inception, the plan was supposed to cover $75 million in repairs over 15 years. It was stated that roads had not been fixed in a comprehensive way for 20 years. In addition, the former administration proposed purchase of equipment to keep better roads in good shape. In my experience, road repair has always been a hot topic, but the actual work gets bogged down in attempts to make sure every ward gets an equal portion of repairs. This issue came up again recently, but Councilman Cory Storch reminded the council that the longterm project was based on engineering tests and ratings that made the worst roads a priority.

Other proposed bonds are $1,187,500 for information technology improvements and $1,282,500 for capital improvements at City Hall including $250,000 for the exterior, $600,000 for an electrical upgrade and $250,000 for heating and air conditioning.
As described last month, the information technology improvements will link all municipal buildings and all city departments and divisions. As city residents know, this is a long overdue project.

Anyone wishing to speak on these bond ordinances may do so before the council votes on them Wednesday.


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