The Vernon Township Council on May 24 unanimously passed a $4 million bond ordnance that approves $3.13 million in borrowing for various improvements or purposes to be undertaken by the town.
Township Chief Financial Officer Donelle Bright said the ordinance approves a total spending of $4.01 million for capital projects and the township is putting down 22 percent cash down, $885,000, leaving a maximum of $3.13 million in maximum borrowing to be paid over 10 years.
She said the ordinance will be used for road improvements, EMS and fire, and park improvements, township property improvements and the most controversial, the bike and pump track and trail improvements.
Bright said the average taxpayer will pay $31.30 as part of their tax bill to cover the ordinance and even with the ordinance’s passage, the township’s debt percentage will decrease due to previous efforts to pay down debt.
Bright said the actual trail and bike pump track that will go through the Town Center is estimated at $195,000, the proposed bike pump track is estimated at $170,000 and an Americans with Disabilities Act compliant multi-purpose trail will cost about $50,000, totaling $415,000, about 4 percent of the total debt.
Providing safe access to the site via Black Creek Drive, a new access road and parking is estimated to cost $485,000 bringing the total of related spending on the trail to about $900,000. The ordinance only allows for $579,425 of that sum to be bonded. The township is putting $302,575.12 down on that portion, which includes Open Space funds approved by referendum.
About 20 percent of the ordinance debt will go toward the EMS and fire departments. The township will replace an 18-year-old ambulance and will replace a 25-year-old fire tanker for the McAfee Fire Dept. The plan also calls for SCBA packs and turnout gear.
Ambulance Corps. Chief Operations Officer Kevin Duffy thanked the council for considering the new ambulance.
“With the council approval, the ambulance will be 100 percent identical to the one purchased last year, which has already been in rotation and received its first preventative maintenance by the township DPW and has responded to about 35 percent of our total EMS calls,” Duffy said.
He said Glenwood EMS will swap all equipment out to the new ambulance so as not to incur additional costs to the town.
Repaving the township’s main roads on Barrett and Glenwood Mountain will cost about $700,000. Repaving secondary roads will cost about $200,000 and the ordinance budgets about $50,000 for guardrails and drainage.
Bright said the township has received $181,200 in grants for that portion of the ordinance and it covers about 21 percent of the total debt.
The turf will be replaced on the Maple Grange Park football field, replacing the 12-year-old surface. The lighting at the snack bar at Veterans Park will be improved, and an ADA compliant pathway will be constructed.
About 18 percent of the debt goes toward that.
DPW equipment and the replacement of vehicles ranging in age from 7 to -25 years will account for about 13 percent of the debt.
The township also plans property improvements to the DPW building and the addition of a fueling station and garage door replacements. The township also will replace the alarm and make the doorways ADA complaint. About 10 percent of the ordinance’s debt covers that.