PHOTO BY MARK LICHTENWALNER
Linda Masson (right) discusses her progress towards regionalizing the Sussex County School districts.
By Mark Lichtenwalner
SUSSEX BOROUGH — As 2017 begins to wrap-up, the Sussex Borough Council met on Tuesday night to tie up some loose ends, and put a bow on two big purchases for the borough. Councilmember and Department of Public Works (DPW) chief Brad Hallowach thanked members of the DPW for decorating the town. “DPW did a really nice job decorating the town for the holidays,” Hallowach said. “From the tree, to the light poles, the town looks really nice.” Mayor Katherine Little commented on the tree-lighting ceremony held last weekend. Although she would have liked to have seen more councilmembers present, Mayor Little called the tree-lighting a success. Councilmember Linda Masson then spoke about her efforts to regionalize the various Sussex County school districts into one massive district. Councilmember Masson has been working with Newton Mayor Wayne Levante to introduce and implement the idea of regionalizing the Sussex County school districts, which would result in the elimination of individual school administrations in favor of one large administration to run each school district in the county. Masson announced that she, along with Mayor Levante and several other proponents of the regionalization plan will be attending a meeting by the Sussex County School Boards Association to discuss the matter. The meeting was held Wednesday night at Sparta High School. Masson noted that the meeting was held to dissuade the public from the idea of regionalizing the Sussex county schools, but she, nor any other proponent of regionalization was invited to join the panel to speak in favor of combining districts. “We would like the opportunity to speak on the behalf of the people of Sussex County,” Masson said, “but I’m not sure they’ll give us the opportunity to do so.” Councilmember Masson, and Mayor Levante have gone on Centenary College radio to discuss regionalization, and will be doing an on camera interview that will air on METV this weekend. Time to open the presents: The Sussex Council unanimously passed two resolutions to approve the purchase of two vehicles for the borough. Resolution 2017–155R approves the purchase of a new street sweeper for the borough at a cost of $139,000. Business administrator Michael Restel announced the new Isuzu street sweeper will be equipped with a large vacuum capable of clearing out the sewer drains in the borough, something the current street sweeper is not able to do, but a function the DPW desperately needs. Restel announced the borough will receive an $8,000 trade-in credit for the current street sweeper, which was purchased in 2006 for a cost of $189,000. The new street sweeper is expected to arrive on Ja. 3rd. The council also approved Resolution 2017–156R, authorizing the purchase of a 2018 Ford F-550 dumptruck with upgraded plow for the price of $78,353. Upon approval, the truck will take 3 months to build in Kentucky before being shipped to New Jersey where it’ll take up to two more weeks to install the hydraulic systems, before the borough can take delivery. Several members of the council remarked that they would have liked to have had the truck for this winter, but the build-time makes that unlikely. Restel also announced that he ordered it in red.