FROM THE OFFICE OF THE MAYOR
Eric F. Wilsusen
Well, here we are in the middle of a pandemic, Corona/COVID19 2020, who would have ever thought! Even though we have been in crisis mode and all hunkered down, your local government has been working and moving forward with the normal day-to-day business for our residents. So I wanted to share some news other than COVID 19 reports.
All of our municipal government employees are working a staggered schedule to limit exposure; we are still working to keep the government operating. The actual municipal building is closed to the public, but we are taking appointments for essential business. Our building department is still issuing building permits. Our parks crews have been getting all the fields and grounds ready in case we can squeeze in some kind of season. Public Works is out of snow mode and into Spring repair mode, patching potholes, sweeping the streets, and cleaning up after winter. If you need to report a repair, you can call public works direct at 973-697-2522 or submit a Service Request Form, located online on our website under the Public Works department.
My Administration has been working with the Township Council on the 2020 Municipal Budget over the past few months. I want to thank the Council for adding some workshop sessions to the calendar so we can get a jump on projects. This decision is already paying off. The capital portion was approved on April 1st, which included a more aggressive road resurfacing program totaling $1.2 million in road and infrastructure improvements. This is an area I am finding is one of the biggest challenges for my Administration. We know many roads are in desperate need of repair; unfortunately, we cannot pave them all, but I assure you there is a plan! We have adopted a responsible budget that we feel will meet the needs of our local government and our citizens. We have posted a complete list for upcoming resurfacing projects on our website under the Public Works department page and anticipate starting some resurfacing projects by mid-May.
Another challenge for next year will be the contract for garbage and recycling services. The current contract expires at the end of 2020, and we will have to rebid the next contract. We posted a survey on our webpage to solicit some input from our residents. Recycling costs have increased, so we are looking at all options to save costs.
We are evaluating all Spring and Summer programs, including our Summer Camp program. Of course, all depends on if all the executive orders are relaxed going forward.
At the beginning of the year, I solicit applications for our Citizen of the Year for the previous year; I am proud to announce that Katherine "Kat" VanWolput, co-owner of Oak Ridge Martial Arts, is our 2019 Citizen of the Year! Congratulations, well deserved!
Last, I just want to say that I am more than proud to be the Mayor of this awesome community. So many people have pulled together, neighbors helping neighbors, supporting our frontline health care, grocery and food service employees, making masks, you name it. I have no doubt we will come out of this stronger. One positive thing that has come out of this is we can truly appreciate what is important.
Enjoy the warmer weather!