Union County Invests in Library Access Expansion and Tree Removal Initiative

Union County has demonstrated a commitment to enhancing library services and addressing environmental concerns at the recent Board of Commissioners meeting. The meeting spotlighted initiatives to expand access to library resources across nine towns and outlined plans for the removal of dead trees throughout the county.

A significant portion of the meeting centered on the Department of Economic Development’s resolutions. One of the highlighted programs aims to broaden access to library materials by digitizing collections and enabling resource sharing among nine participating towns. This initiative, supported by a state grant, offers library users access to an expanded array of literature and other items, potentially reaching three million pieces. Notably, Commissioner Kowalski and Senate President Scutari were acknowledged for their roles in advancing this library expansion. Additionally, the program paves the way for two non-participating towns to join the consortium and for current members to continue their involvement through state-funded assistance.

Another focus of the meeting was the environmental initiative presented by the Department of Parks and Recreation to remove dead trees across the county. This effort addresses both aesthetic and safety concerns by contracting with a state-approved company to undertake the tree removal on a not-to-exceed basis.

The meeting also touched on financial considerations. The Department of Finance introduced a resolution to update the list of positions enrolled in the Defined Contribution Retirement Program (DCRP), as mandated by the state. This update is procedural, involving existing positions rather than adding new ones.

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The Sheriff’s Office addressed the renewal of a cost-saving contract with Essex County for juvenile services, which is expected to save the county approximately $7 million annually, even with a slight 2% increase over the last four years of the five-year contract. The closure of the Union County Juvenile Detention Center and the repurposing of its space for other productive uses, such as the fire academy, was also noted for its financial and practical benefits.

Note: This meeting summary was generated by AI, which can occasionally misspell names, misattribute actions, and state inaccuracies. This summary is intended to be a starting point and you should review the meeting record linked above before acting on anything you read. If we got something wrong, let us know. We’re working every day to improve our process in pursuit of universal local government transparency.

County Manager:
Edward Oatman
County Council Officials:
Kimberly Palmieri-Mouded, Lourdes M. Leon, James E. Baker, Jr., Joseph C. Bodek, Michele S. Delisfort, Sergio Granados, Bette Jane Kowalski, Alexander Mirabella, Rebecca L. Williams

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