METUCHEN – Soon the borough will have a person dedicated to the many special projects currently in the works.
The Borough Council approved the position of director of special projects through an ordinance at a meeting on Jan. 13. The annual salary for the new position will be $80,000.
Borough Administrator Jay Muldoon is expected to fill the new position.
Mayor Jonathan Busch said overseeing the many special projects – Metuchen Arts District project; new fire/emergency medical services (EMS) building project; the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority (NJTPA) Main Street Improvement project; the construction, management and maintenance of the joint sewer pump station with the township of Edison; the Public Library renovation project; the Grove Avenue bike lane; the 212 Durham/Gulton redevelopment project; the Oakite/Middlesex Avenue redevelopment project – has become a full time job.
The mayor said Muldoon has balanced the needs of the borough from fielding human resource issues, day-to-day residents’ concerns and addressing budgets and finances for the borough to making sure all bidding deadlines are done with respect the library renovation project and staying on top of the varying components to the arts district.
“We realize this isn’t a one person job,” he said. “This is a good thing … we are going to spend time focusing [on the special projects]. We can’t have just have one person doing all this work that we are putting out. That’s not responsible of us.”
Muldoon stressed the director of special project position is not a position to field any requests made.
“These are infrastructure significant projects the borough is committed to,” he said. “An idea doesn’t become a project unless the [governing] body supports it and there is funding for it.”
Busch, who said he would be the authority to add a special project to the list after consensus from the council, said the borough administrator will still have projects to oversee.
Muldoon said, for example, road projects, including milling and paving, are done every year and will not be on the special projects list. Busch added work such as attaining Sustainable Jersey certification and working with Millennium Strategies, grant consultants for the borough, will remain with the borough administrator.
Busch said Muldoon has been working on the projects so there will be zero transition period for the new position.
“There will be transition on the other side whoever fills the role as business administrator,” he said.