The Vernon Township Council on May 23 adopted an ordinance that will appropriate $1,365,000 in bonds for equipment and improvements to Vernon Township Police headquarters, township facilities, various streets and roads, and additional equipment.
The measure was passed by a 4-0-1 vote. Councilman Brian Lynch abstained due to his status as a volunteer firefighter.
The ordinance appropriates a total of $1,955,000, with the addition of $386,800 in down payments and the sum of $203,200, which the township is expecting to receive from the New Jersey Dept. of Transportation as a grant-in-aid financing.
The ordinance earmarks $595,000 to purchase one loader, one Dingo utility machine, basin cleaner, and retrofit equipment and heavy machinery for the Dept. of Public Works. It also includes gear and various equipment for the township’s fire departments.
It allots $975,000 for improvements to various streets.
About $190,000 will go toward improving Bell Field by installing new lighting, and $195,000 is earmarked to install a new 911 system.
Township resident Peg Distasi said with current “budget overruns,” the township should only improve items necessary for the township’s wellbeing and security. She also questioned whether the township needed to maintain its own 911 center when the county could do it.
Councilman Brian Lynch said it would be more expensive for the township to use the county system.
“Our dispatch center dispatches for 70 square miles,” Lynch said. “These dispatchers know our geography and terrain in the town. They know the streets and they know the police officers. For being the largest community in Sussex County, I think we need to have our own dispatch center. We need to have our own police, fire and EMS dispatched out of our township.”