West Windsor Discusses Key Budget and Infrastructure Plans

The West Windsor Town Council addressed a comprehensive agenda focusing on the town’s fiscal health, public services, and infrastructure improvements during a recent meeting. The council discussed the 2024 budget, which notably includes a 2.85% decrease in the current fund from the prior year with no increase in the property tax rate. The Chief Financial Officer reported a slight increase in total energy tax receipts and mentioned the application for a distracted driving crackdown grant alongside awaiting state aid certification.

In public health updates, the Health Department’s accomplishments and goals were reviewed, including pandemic recovery, mobile clinics, and a partnership for community health assessment. An increase in health events and ongoing efforts in environmental health, vaccination clinics, and disease monitoring were reported. Discussions also focused on the installation of an emergency generator at the health department building and digital storage for block and lot files.

The meeting also highlighted the West Windsor Senior Center’s activities and services for residents aged 55 and over, such as health and wellness programs, arts, education, and transportation services. The center has plans to increase engagement by sending out surveys, instructor evaluations, and regular newsletters. The center’s bus service, which had been briefly suspended due to maintenance issues, was discussed along with the procurement of a new bus, with acknowledgment of county officials’ assistance.

The council deliberated on budgetary allocations for various departments and projects. The Senior Center’s budget was a topic of discussion, with a recommendation of $25,000 for general improvements not explicitly requested but following standard practice. Infrastructure improvements, including office furniture replacement funded by a Mercer County grant and potential kitchen use by seniors following improvements, were debated.

The Capital section of the meeting covered requests for office furniture at the Senior Center, where the source of funding was clarified due to specific useful life and bonding laws. The council discussed the need for funding for architectural designs at the Arts Council and the implications of building codes and parking requirements. In the Administration OE budget, an increase was attributed to the annual subscription cost for software used by the construction department, with a proposal to transfer this cost in the future.

The council also tackled infrastructure and maintenance issues, including network infrastructure upgrades, security at the fire and EMS facility, and roof replacements. The discussion extended to the possibility of combining bids for projects to achieve economies of scale and the consideration of installing solar panels on municipal building roofs.

The topic of an automatic payment system for taxes and sewer bills was discussed, emphasizing the importance of residents not relying on mail for tax payments due to timing issues with mail delivery. The council planned to launch the system after ensuring its correct functioning.

Another important discussion was the Fire EMS roof replacement project, which urgently required $325,000 due to water infiltration issues. The police department’s air conditioning replacement and the possibility of a PSNG program with a 0% interest payback were also discussed, along with other capital improvements and maintenance projects.

Infrastructure improvements were discussed at length, including the water mapping efforts, the rejection of grants for the Bikeway Extension Program, and the need for transparent communication about grant rejections. Additionally, discussions covered funding allocations for sidewalk extension programs, crosswalk improvements, and the prioritization of such infrastructure projects.

Moreover, the council debated over better crosswalk disability beacons and flashing lights at intersections, the pace of road maintenance to avoid future costs, and the reallocation of resources from services like brush delivery to road repair.

Public comments raised concerns about the West Windsor Art Center’s lease terms, a grant for building improvements, and infrastructure needs on Rabbit Hill Road, culminating with a motion to go into closed session to discuss personnel matters and a motion to adjourn.

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.
Hemant Marathe
City Council Officials:
Sonia Gawas, Linda Geevers, Andrea Mandel, Daniel “Dan” Weiss, Martin Whitfield

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