Officials introduce bond ordinance for capital improvements

Commissioners also name Barry Beckett new county engineer

The Gloucester County Board of Commissioners approved a resolution appointing Barry Beckett its new engineer during a meeting on Feb. 15.

Beckett replaces Vincent Voltaggio, who retired at the end of last year. The commissioners appointed Mark Brunermer to replace Voltaggio in January, according to the resolution, but he was unable to serve. Beckett will hold the position for five years, through February of 2028.

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The commissioners also approved a $16.3-million bond ordinance on first reading for capital improvements to buildings and roads. Public hearing and second reading of the ordinance will take place during the March 15 commissioners meeting. If approved, the measure “authorizes the issuance of $7.32 million in bonds or bond anticipation notes,” the resolution states.

Funding for improvements includes $833,500 for the reconstruction and or repair of county buildings; $6.36 million for reconstruction and or repair of various county roadways; $2.37 million for construction, reconstruction and or repair of various county intersections; $1.27 million for construction, reconstruction and or repair of bridges and dams; and $1.49 million to pay for communications, computer and phone equipment.

Commissioners also approved the introduction of a $244,140,590 county budget for 2023.

Public hearing and a final vote on the financial plan will also take place during the March meeting. Anticipated revenues from state and federal funding are $61,604,590, so a total of $182.5 million will have to be raised through taxes.

The commissioners approved a resolution by a 7-0 vote to purchase the Premier Property Maintenance and Construction Services’ 9.7-acre plot of land in Mantua Township for $260,000 by using open space preservation funds.

“It is expected that once preserved, the property would remain in its natural state and be utilized for conservation purposes,” the resolution noted.

A series of 18 resolutions was then approved by the commissioners, all but one unanimously.  They include:

  • A $2.97-million contract with R.E. Pierson Construction Company for resurfacing and safety improvements to Red Bank Avenue, from Crown Point Road to Mehorter Boulevard in West Deptford and Woodbury.
  • A $129,573.47 contract with Remington and Vernick Engineers “for construction inspection services” regarding the Red Bank Avenue project.
  • A $225,000 contract with Careffex, LLC, “for the fabrication and delivery of custom automotive accessories as needed,” reads the resolution.
  • A $189,423 contract increase with Avenue Enterprise Solutions for a total of $294,423 for the year 2023. “It is necessary to amend the contract for the county for the purchase of Land Records server hardware and software to replace the current Land Records server, which is approaching end of life,” the resolution stated.
  • A one-year contract not to exceed $40,000 with Deer Carcass Removal Service to dispose of deer remains on countywide roads.

During the public forum part of the commissioners’ meeting, Marlene McConnell, a member of the Gloucester County Special Services School District Board of Education, asked the board about efforts to combine the administrations of Special Services and the Gloucester County Vocational School districts and appoint a superintendent of both.

“We are being forced to appoint a superintendent, but the process is not following the recruitment procedure,” she said. “This is a violation of statutes.”

The board of commissioners said it would look into the issue. The March 15 commissioners meeting will take place at 6 p.m. in the county courthouse, Room 201, 1 N. Broad St., Woodbury.

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