HomeMedford NewsCouncil discusses paving money at meeting

Council discusses paving money at meeting

State Department of Transportation grant money designated for the paving of Fairview Road was discussed at the Sept. 4 township council meeting.

The DOT had awarded the township money to complete a paving project with a $150,000 grant. The township began the Fairview project, and it stalled around the location of Jackson St. The township applied for another round of grants to continue funding the project. In 2011, the state denied the project any additional funding, and the road is currently only two-thirds of the way finished.

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“The township paved a portion of Fairview a few years ago with NJDOT grant funds. The township was awarded another grant to continue paving Fairview, but due to budget and transition of council and its professionals, it was decided to request an extension from the state to award the project,” said township manager Chris Schultz. “We requested a year [extension] but were granted 6 months which puts us into early 2013 for award of the project.”

If the township does not decide to use the grant money awarded for the project the funds will expire within two years and the money would no longer be available for use. The township then would not be encumbered for another five years.

The application was originally for $362,000. In most cases, townships match the grant money, however Medford Township cannot currently afford to match those funds, officials said.

“Stay at Fairview road, get that done. Just finish Fairview road with just the $150,000 and apply for what that doesn’t cover,” Mayor “Randy” Pace said.

An additional road project put in place by the Homeowners Association was discussed at length due to the funding sitting without use. The funding was put in place for road improvements for Bretshire Court in Taunton Trace.

“The infrastructure is such that the parking lots and roadway are basically one. As the township is responsible for the road and the HOA the parking, the HOA at the time agreed to do a cost share with the township so that everything was done at one time. I do not know why the township did not complete this project. Funding has been in place since that time,” said Schultz.

The project cost is $400,000 and will be going to bid this fall. Previously, the money had been sitting for three years.

The work to improve what the task force found has begun. Schultz is working on a comprehensive purchasing manual for emergency procurement to create an improved method of procuring contracts in emergency situations. The manual will itemize written policy to avoid any confusion.

The procedure for an emergency procurement, according to Schultz, would require a department head or, in their absence, his or her designee.

“As soon as reasonably possible, they would need to notify the township manager of the need for awarding of a contract or purchase order, the nature of the emergency, the time of its occurrence and the need for invoking the emergency provisions of the law. If the township manager is satisfied that an emergency exists, he or she shall be authorized to award a contract or contracts for such purposes as may be necessary to respond to the emergent needs,” Schultz said.

The emergency procurement is an effort to avoid any contract conflicts.

“Once council passes the resolution, it will become the policy of the township now and into the future but does not prohibit future councils or managers from changing it. But the law is fairly straight forward on this process,” Schultz said.

The Local Government Institute began Tuesday, Sept. 11. Schultz noted the class was one seat short of being full.

“I am looking forward to working with our residents who have shown an interest in understanding local government and how it operates,” Schultz said.

The next township council meeting will be held Sept. 18 at 7:30 p.m. at the Public Safety Building located at 91 Union St.

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