Howell introduces bond ordinance to fund local improvements

HOWELL – The Township Council has introduced a bond ordinance that appropriates $4,696,000 for capital improvements in Howell.

Mayor Theresa Berger, Deputy Mayor Evelyn O’Donnell, Councilman John Bonevich, Councilwoman Pamela Richmond and Councilman Thomas Russo voted “yes” on a motion to introduce the ordinance during a meeting on Sept. 24.

The same ordinance was adopted by the council on Sept. 10, but a technical issue was discovered subsequent to its adoption and required the ordinance to be reintroduced on Sept. 24, according to municipal officials.

A public hearing on the reintroduced ordinance has been scheduled for Oct. 22.

The ordinance provides for the completion of capital improvements and the acquisition of capital equipment. The legislation authorizes the issuance of $4,395,000 in bonds and notes to finance a portion of the costs. Officials will appropriate $66,000 from Howell’s open space trust fund and make a $235,000 down payment to cover the appropriation.

According to the ordinance, the authorized improvements include upgrades to township buildings, tile replacement, a message board sign for town hall and the acquisition of mowers for open space property maintenance.

The ordinance also provides funds for road improvements, including, but not limited to, driveway improvements, milling and overlay.

During a previous meeting, resident Kathi Novak asked why $66,000 is being appropriated from the open space trust fund.

Township Manager Brian Geoghegan said the Department of Public Works requested the purchase of certain equipment to be used for the maintenance of open space parcels.

“There are two mowers the DPW requested (included in the ordinance) and we opted to procure those through our open space funding,” Geoghegan said.