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Colts Neck officials plan for capital improvements

By Peter Elacqua
Staff Writer

COLTS NECK – The Township Committee has taken steps to implement a capital improvement plan for 2016.

At a recent meeting, members of the governing body passed a resolution to approve a temporary capital improvement budget in the amount of $2.74 million.

Road improvements will account for $2.24 million and the remaining $500,000 will be used for improvements to police headquarters, according to municipal officials.

Roads included in the program are Muhlenbrink Road, Stonehill Road, Laird Road, Fireside Drive, Spruce Lane, Seedling Drive, Twin Lakes Drive, Deborah Drive, Lindy Lane and Big Beech Lane, and the parking lot of the Colts Neck First Aid Squad headquarters. According to the resolution, the $2.24 million appropriation is not limited to those roads.

Improvements may consist of excavation, milling, paving, reconstruction, the sealing of pavement cracks, repairs to and/or installation of curbing and driveway aprons, resetting utility castings, drainage work, landscaping and aesthetic improvements which may include seeding and installing top soil.

Improvements at police headquarters may include interior and exterior renovations, ramp installation, electrical, plumbing and heating work, ventilation and air conditioning system improvements, flooring improvements, painting and the acquisition and installation of furnishings and equipment.

In other business at the Jan. 13 meeting, the committee passed a resolution that will allow Colts Neck to participate in a statewide shared services agreement to address affordable housing issues with a fair share analysis by an entity known as Econsult.

The agreement will allow Econsult and other experts to “establish a rational and reasonable methodology for the determination of a municipality’s obligation to provide a realistic opportunity through its land use ordinances for its fair share of the region’s affordable housing needs in accordance with the Mount Laurel Doctrine,” according to the resolution.

The anticipated cost for the review by Econsult is $70,000. According to the agreement, each municipality that signs the agreement will pay a $2,000 fee in order to share the costs. According to the resolution, the $2,000 fee should leave a sufficient amount of money to prepare the initial analysis, analyze any challenges to the results and prepare a rebuttal report given the number of municipalities that have expressed interest in retaining Econsult.

Committeeman Russell Macnow said the affordable housing subcommittee, of which he is a member, “felt it prudent to have such a qualified expert on our side should we need to litigate the matter further.”

Macnow said Econsult is recommending that Colts Neck should have an affordable housing obligation of 45 units. The state Superior Court has projected that Colts Neck would have to provide 277 affordable housing units by 2025.

The Law Offices of Jeffrey R. Surenian and Associates has been authorized to represent Colts Neck on affordable housing matters.

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