Cranbury’s Township Committee members have an aggressive agenda set for 2020.
Committee members are already moving forward with the dredging of Brainerd Lake, which is to occur in the fall of 2020; aiding efforts for a stand-alone library; looking to improve communications with residents; making progress on ideas to make downtown a destination; and addressing truck traffic in town.
“Going forward with the lake it is a once in a generation type of project and with better stormwater management that we have now. Taking care of the lake may not be so drastic,” Mayor Matt Scott said.
Scott added that in regards to a stand-alone library in town, if the project does not receive money from a state grant, the township committee will have to make a decision about aiding the project at next year’s budget process.
“I do not think that a referendum is appropriate. When the question was posed to residents earlier, they overwhelmingly showed support for the project,” Scott said. “Hopefully, this spring, we will find out that we get a state grant. We have set all the requirements that the state has put out. I am pretty optimistic about the project receiving state funds.”
The committee has already started improving communication with residents as a new township website is up and running with easier access to township items for residents. This year, the committee is set to introduce video streaming of meetings.
“We will start with some video streaming with the township committee meetings. I am confident that we will be able to iron out the technical details on how we would do that,” Scott said. “Hopefully, after the next couple meetings, we will have it up and running – either directly from the township website, another server or on our local cable access channel.”
Parking requirements for businesses in downtown is one of the items the township committee will look at to help build a draw to the downtown area.
“What I want to see is a town that can form [into] a downtown. The library is part of that. That will create a lot of draw and a lot foot traffic,” Scott said. “I am interested to see what the township committee can do to help the businesses that are here and attract more businesses. Committeewoman Evelyn Spann and Committeeman Jay Taylor are on that task, and I look forward to any ideas that they can come forward with.”
When it comes to addressing traffic in town, Scott said he is optimistic that progress can be made in 2020 with surrounding towns, the county and state.
“There are several ways to look at addressing traffic. Traffic is a regional issue. There are more trucks coming into our area, because there is more warehousing. The other issues are local,” Scott said. “Is there something we can do to help alleviate the burden that parts of town are experiencing. I want to make downtown more pedestrian friendly and increase lighting downtown to make it a safe and more bikeable.”
Fellow Committeeman James Taylor said 2020 is filled initiatives that speak to residents.
“I think Matt [Scott] is doing a great job and this group has the energy to get things accomplished. I think there are a lot of fantastic initiatives and they are initiatives that speak to the residents,” Taylor said. “All my life I have suffered from attention deficit disorder, part of that is needing to know what to focus on and to drill down to get things accomplished. I just wonder how much of it we can accomplish because it is so much and can unite the town and the governing body.”
He added that they need to be prepared that some of the items will cross over into next year or even three years down the road.
“I believe this committee will continue to build on previous years and the town’s fiscal responsibility. I applaud Barbara Rogers for doing just that at a meeting we had last week,” Taylor said. “She wanted to take a pause and abstain from the introduction of an ordinance, because she wanted to make sure that we were doing something fiscally responsible.”