Township officials approved a 10-year, $8.5 million bond ordinance that will allow for “various township wide road improvements and related expenses” on a number of the municipality’s roadways.
Originally introduced during the Aug. 14 committee meeting, the ordinance allows township officials to appropriate the aforementioned money, while taking out $8.075 million in bonds to cover a majority of the costs. The figure includes a $425,000 down payment, as required by local bond law.
Stating that the township has a five year plan for its roadways, Mayor Gloria McCauley said the roadwork was needed as conditions have deteriorated over time.
“The aging infrastructure of our township needs to be addressed, which has been further compromised by the severe weather with increased snow and freezing temperatures that have taken their toll on our roadways,” Mayor Gloria McCauley said Tuesday. “As a result, it is in the best interest of the township to pursue funding for these improvements.”
Officials said the township determined how much to borrow was based on the state’s two-percent tax levy cap and how to keep annual costs within that limit.
As a committee comprised entirely of Republicans, the township’s elected officials stressed that the plan falls within their mantra of “fiscal responsibility” when considering whether such a project starts in the first place.
“By being judicious in what we’ve done with our budgets, our spend levels and debt levels, it affords us the opportunity to take advantage of the opportunities to take on some debt when it’s needed,” Committeeman Frank DelCore said after the ordinance’s introduction. “It’s certainly a significant amount of money, but we have a significant amount of roads that need to be done. Trying to do it out of a normal budget process, given our cap limitations, becomes unfeasible at times.”
Since 2008, McCauley estimates that the township has repaved 14 roads stretching 20.33 miles. In that same amount of time, she said Hillsborough has regularly conducted “an extensive chip sealing program which enhances the longevity of the roadway” on more than 20 miles of road.
With an average of $330,000 spent over the last 11 years through state Department of Transportation grants and municipal funding, McCauley estimated this new project “would have taken over 25 years at the current spending level.”
While the township only has the ability to address its own roadways, McCauley said the municipality plans to reach out to the state and county to improve the roads under their jurisdiction.