Township to extend fiber optic network

The extension will connect all of township water and wastewater treatment facilities to the network.

At its most recent meeting, Moorestown Township Council passed an ordinance appropriating $980,000 to extend the township’s private fiber network. The ordinance had some residents questioning why the township needs to extend the network.

“What is this actually doing and why do we have to spend this?” said resident Greg Scott, who questioned if the extension was a state requirement.

Township Manager Thomas Neff said the extension will connect all of township water and wastewater treatment facilities to the network. He said this will enable the township to have data in real time. He said the extension will also give the township to access all of the water facilities’ cameras at a central location, which will add another degree of security.

Neff said the extension is not a state requirement. He said the goal is simply to improve service, safety and data collection.

Chief Financial Officer Thomas Merchel said the current fiber optic network connects the public works building, the library, the recreation center, two firehouses, the Kings Highway Water Treatment Plant and Town Hall. The extension will bring fiber to two treatment plants, water tanks, a sewer treatment plant and three pumping stations.

Neff said many municipalities in the area extend their networks. He said some municipalities with enough network capacity even lease out their network.

“It’s potentially a revenue generator,” Neff said.

Joyce Cheng, chair telecommunications and technology committee, suggested the township could also put in valves that provide more detailed data. She said in addition to knowing the pressure and flow of the water, certain valves can also determine the water content. She said given that water content has been a hot topic in town, having valves that can help automatically monitor water quality could benefit the town.

In other news:

  • Burlington County Clerk Timothy Tyler presented the township with an official Killed in Action flag. Tyler said he has been hand-delivering the official KIA flag to every Burlington County municipality to have in time for Veterans Day.
  • Council passed a resolution designating Moorestown Township as a Bee City USA Affiliate. The mission of Bee City USA is to encourage communities to sustain pollinators.

Councilwoman Lisa Petriello said she wants the resolution to be more than just “on the shelf sort of document” and to put into action. She said this means the township should provide habitats for pollinators and encourage education about pollinator species.

“I’d like to see us be rigorous,” Petriello said.

  • The next meeting of Moorestown Township Council will take place on Monday, Sept. 24, at 7:30 p.m. at Town Hall.