Budget talks were the center of this week’s Colts Neck Township Committee meeting, with updates on capital projects decisions and vouchers approvals.
The committee came to a consensus on several projects for the remainder of the year and 2012, including road repairs and paving, public works equipment, and buildings and grounds repairs such as dredging the pond in front of Town Hall. A base station to improve communications for Colts Neck Police was also determined to be a priority.
The base station will cost almost $20,000, and stemmed from communications being down during Hurricane Irene and officials having to use portable radios and cell phones.
But some members of the committee sought more information when it came to purchasing new equipment for Colts Neck fire departments, to replace trucks that have 20 plus years on them.
The needs a pumper truck in order to keep three trucks in the township. Schatzle said the truck is more than $500,000, and the township has saved about $275,000 over the years through a pay-as-you-go savings plan. When the old truck is turned in, fire departments hope it will be worth about $75,000 toward the cost of a new one.
Schatzle, Committeeman Russell Macnow and the fire departments sat down last weekend to consider all possibilities, including bringing the departments down to two trucks. However, Schatzle said if one truck is down for maintenance, there should always be two ready to go.
They also considered refurbishing the truck for around $300,000, but the Macnow said with that much money invested, the township is not guaranteed how long those refurbishes will last.
Schatzle said there are very few manufacturers for the trucks, and they all have about the same prices.
After talks with the fire department heads and committee members, it was decided that another $500,000 tanker would not be necessary to replace this year.
Committeeman Edward Eastman said he is not convinced that the equipment is something that is needed rather than something that is wanted.
The committee tabled the official decision until the next meeting, when more information about the necessity of the truck can be obtained.
In Bob Bowden’s administrative report, he said the Town Hall basement, which was flooded during Irene, will be completely renovated with insurance money. The project will take about 30 days, and employees usually housed in the basement are dispersed throughout Town Hall and the Colts Neck Public Library.
The next is Oct. 12 at 7:30 p.m. in Town Hall.