Friday, May 17, 2013
Township Committee OKs spending plan, which is 7 percent larger than 2012 budget.
The Township Committee Thursday approved a 2013 municipal budget that raised the property taxes for an owner of a home assessed at the township average by $208. The $17.7 million budget represents a 7 percent increase over the 2012 budget. The spending plan is supported by a municipal tax levy of $12.1 million, up $1.3 million from 2012. The township also will collect $822,503 through its open space tax. The budget was crafted in a year when the total assessed valuation of the township increased by 2.6 percent to $4.112 billion. The average assessment rose from $625,600 in 2012 to $643,250 in 2013, a change that pushed the average municipal tax bill to $12,964, up from $12,468 in 2012. Committeewoman Carolann Garafola said the property …
Thursday, April 25, 2013
Technology Committee recommends study of distributed antenna system.
The Warren Township Committee will be voting on a contract for a $12,000 study looking into the viability of a distributed antenna system for cell phone service in the township. Distributed antenna systems offer an alternative to tall antenna towers, using newer technology that is more compact. Many residents first learned about DAS during the heated battle over a proposed tower for the Dock Watch Hollow quarry property in 2011. Mayor Victor Sordillo, a member of the township's Technology Committee, said the committee has recommended the study to determine if such a system could work with Warren's terrain. "Right now, cell towers are the way of getting complete coverage in a town for your cell phone service," he said. He noted the DAS …
Friday, April 5, 2013
2013 spending plan includes funding for road overlays, police building expansion and a new mechanic.
The Warren Township Committee introduced a $17,714,596.18 budget for 2013 that includes funding for more road overlays and work on an expansion of the police headquarters at Thursday's meeting. Funding for the budget will be primarily from a $12,099,868.33 tax levy, an increase of $1,279,907, an 11.8 percent increase. The increase includes $440,000 from the township's banked cap, $480,000 for debts and other expenditures excluded from the state 2 percent tax cap, as well as $359,000 allowed under the tax cap law ( $216,000 of which is 2 percent of last year's tax levy, plus $143,000 allowed because of the increase in property values and assessments). The budget will increase the municipal tax bill for a property assessed at the township's …
Thursday, April 4, 2013
Township Committee OKs hiring architect to complete plans.
The Warren Township municipal complex includes the main township offices building, the refurbished library and courtroom/police buildings—and two rather aged trailers. "They were a five-year solution 25 years ago," Chief of Police Russell Leffert said Thursday at the Township Committee meeting, where he presented rough drafts of a proposed expansion of the annex building housing the courtroom and police heaquarters. The trailers are currently used for storage, but Chief Leffert said a plan to extend the existing building toward Bardy Road to replace the trailers could be an economical way to replace the trailers, and add meeting space for the township. "From a square footage standpoint, we get a lot of bang for the buck," Chief Leffert …
Monday, April 1, 2013
May be only candidate on local primary.
Five-term Township Committeewoman Carolann Garafola filed a petition for the June primary, ahead of Monday's filing deadline. Vacationing in Florida, Garafola said "It is truly an honor to serve the residents in Warren Township. She said she first became interested in politics after her introduction in Newark at the age of nine. "My grandmother, Columbia Rotonda, took me to the Rodino club (this was Congressman Peter Rodino's club) to help even as a young child," she said. "So I learned very young the importance of getting involved in the political process." She added that she grew up in a Democratic household, but embraced the Republican party as a youg adult. "However, my focus has been and continues to be that I work for the good of all…
Tuesday, March 19, 2013
Green lights plan to raise municipal budget above 2 percent cap for projects.
After discussing several projects the township needs to undertake but can't fit in the current year's budget at the Feb. 21 meeting, the Township Committee has approved including an extra $440,000 in the 2013 municipal budget. The move takes advantage of a state law allowing municipalities to raise the tax levy about the 2 percent cap when it has been below the cap in previous years. Warren has about $1.3 million "banked" this way, and Township Administrator Mark Krane said the township can use up to $440,000 in each of the next three years to meet certain township needs. The committee members discussed possibly using the bank for road overlay projects or rebuilding a storage facility at the February meeting, but Krane needed to vet the …
Monday, March 18, 2013
First step by new economic development group aims at ending perceived hurdle.
Warren Township may be changing the permitting process needed for new projects in town, moving the reviews for sewer connections and health department to after planning or zoning board clearance. The reviews will still be required, but instead of being the first step in getting approval from the township for projects, would move down the line—a step members of the township's new business development group say will make planning and opening a business in Warren go more smoothly. According to Jeffrey Lehrer, the township's attorney and head of the business development group, many business people have complained about the need for the reviews before they even know if their projects meet basic zoning requirements. "Whether it's real or not, …
Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Township asks residents to report signs that are missing.
Back in college you probably knew someone whose dorm room was adorned with memorabilia from their hometown — a favorite pizza joint's advertisement, pictures of friends... maybe a street sign or two. The trend hasn't abated, and today, some room somewhere has a nice green "Elmwood Drive" sign — or perhaps whoever took the signs that were on the corner of Elmwood and Christy, likes the "Christy Drive" sign better. Horseshoe Drive resident Joe Lakatos noted at the Feb. 21 Township Committee meeting that he's noticed more and more missing signs lately. "I think residents should be aware that they should call the DPW when street signs disappear," he said. Reported signs can be replaced, and notifying police or the DPW will assure a prompt …
Friday, January 25, 2013
Warren resident Sam Cahoon enjoys special recognition at Township Committee meeting.
Warren resident Sam Cahoon recently celebrated his 100th birthday, an event Warren Township officially recognized at Thursday's township committee meeting. During the recognition, Cahoon, a decorated World War II veteran, offered his advice for longevity, as well as recollections from his years working for the Sears and Roebuck Co. catalog department. The committee purchased a cake to celebrate Cahoon's birthday, and while he made the first cut to the cake, he accepted an offer to take the cake home to enjoy later.
Friday, January 4, 2013
Township enjoys praise by legislators at reorganization meeting.
After being sworn-in to their fourth consecutive terms, Victor Sordillo and Gary DiNardo were named mayor and deputy mayor, respectively, for 2013 at Thursday's Township Committee reorganization meeting. Joined by familiy members for their oaths of office, both quickly settled into familiar spots on the dais, with a full audience that included visiting dignitaries from Somerset County freeholders to state Sen. Tom Kean, and Warren resident and former Gov. Donald DiFrancesco, in attendance. The annual meeting, which serves to establish the committee's schedule, working rules and fill municipal appointments, also included praise for the residents and township employees who responded following Superstorm Sandy. Highlights of the meeting are …