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Green Avenue Paving Demands Brought to Council

Frustrated residents set deadline.

Madison will apply for a state grant to repair Green Avenue in the borough and make fixing the road a priority, the governing body agreed on Monday after listening to frustrated residents decry the "deplorable" and "decaying" state of the road and submitting a petition to have it fixed by June 1, 2013.

But officials said additional information about other capital projects, such as costly repairs that are expected to be needed for the sewer system, and even the makeup of the council after the election could affect what ultimately happens with the project.

Based on previous bids, the project could cost approximately $550,000 and a state grant, if one was awarded, might cover $250,000 of the amount, borough engineer Bob Vogel estimated. Some council members said they expected the cost would be higher. Residents said the road needs to be fixed with or without state funds.

Councilman Robert Landrigan suggested $450,000 in FEMA reimbursement funds that are expected to start being paid to the borough could be used toward the project.

Resident Sandeep Bhatt was among the residents who said the road needs to be fixed.

He said mistakes led to Green Avenue not being fixed over the last several years and the governing body needs to ensure the mistakes are never repeated.

"The buck stops with the council and the mayor," he said.

Along with the June 1 deadline, Bhatt said the borough needs to set clear steps in the process and be transparent about how the project is progressing.

Resident Jerome Holzman said residents who live near the road ought to have their taxes lowered because it has been so poorly maintained.

Robert McDowell July 18, 2012 at 06:08 PM
If FEMA money can be used for this project, I would like to see actual town expense already expended to resolve significant storm damage (I expect it was significant). Then we could certainly use at least that amount to repair a road not damaged by the sever storms.
Robert McDowell July 18, 2012 at 06:17 PM
Wait, didn't the Council allocate this money last year. Doesn't that mean the money has been put in escrow (sort of) for the project?
DidUReallyJustSayThat July 18, 2012 at 09:23 PM
Why not call your former running mates and get all the facts BEFORE you post two semi-coherent comments. While you are on the phone with them, ask them to have the Borough Administrators or Engineer post, in a comprehensive doc with estimated costs, the current list of projects that the borough already has identified for the next decade. Then the entire community could see where Green Ave ranks on the list of capital needs.
MadLaxDad July 19, 2012 at 12:57 AM
Robert. Yes it's in the same account as the 1,000,000 from the sale of the property at cook and central earmarked for the turf project in 2007.
Robert McDowell July 19, 2012 at 05:12 PM
Seems like no one wants to provide an adult professional answer. Did the town set aside the money last year?
DidUReallyJustSayThat July 19, 2012 at 05:45 PM
As noted above, why don't you call the people who should know, like the Mayor or Business Administrator. It isn't about being an "adult" or a "professional," it's about having access to the information. The fact that none of us knows means that the borough is doing a poor job posting the information. Even the person who claimed that he carried a copy of the budget around with him, implying that he knew if forwards and backwards!
Slip July 19, 2012 at 06:23 PM
The adult answer is instead of everyone demanding their street gets paved the request should be for transparancy from the governing body to provide a list of the discretionary and non-discretionary projects, the available funds and the related priorities. Green is not the only street that is in need of paving. I lost a bike rim on one of the many craters on Ridgedale, Seaman is a mess and there are others. But all of them should be a lower priority then getting the pump station fixed. Like it or not, preventing sewage from backing up into residents homes takes precedence over each of us having our road paved. I understand why the Green Street residents would want to bring the poor condition of the road to the Councils attention and their disappointment if they were under the impression it was going to be taken care of but wasn't. But their approach if anything undermines support for the project. Personally I would never vote for any council member who would cave to demands of this type.
Robert McDowell July 19, 2012 at 08:24 PM
Sorry, whoever you are, I was at the council meeting when the majority voted to set aside the funds last year. It was not in the budget, sorry again, but the majority insisted the job be done even though Councilman Connelly attempted to reason that it was too late in the year to get it scheduled and complete and this year we would have the opportunity to apply for county assistance for as much as 50% of the job. The majority, as I remember voted to allocate the funds. So I would assume the funding should be available.
Slip July 19, 2012 at 10:35 PM
OK, I guess your right... We'll just tell the residents who live by the North Street station to keep their mops handy. After all, they already have paved roads, who are they to complain? btw, I'm Slip. I even posted a picture (a grimacing non-flattering one at that, but I think still recognizable)
DidUReallyJustSayThat July 20, 2012 at 06:20 PM
Again, you might want to call you buddy, the mayor. What money did they use to close the budget gap after they rehired the business administrator? Some surplus or reclaimed project $$ perhaps??? Welcome back Ray, bye-bye Green Ave repaving. BTW, it's spelled Conley - one "L" & one "N." Check your campaign literature from last year.
Robert McDowell July 21, 2012 at 09:09 PM
I think you should ask the majority that passed this last year where the money is. Jeannie always seems to know about the money .... and if the money is in escrow then any new money can go to the North St project. The majority was sooooo sure last year, they should be asked ..... Seems Jeannie and crowd are very quiet lately.
Anonymous July 21, 2012 at 09:28 PM
Wrong, again. Last year's budget was passed with votes from Conley, Esposito & Cerciello, with the mayor breaking the tie. http://www.rosenet.org/uploads/25/minreg_4_25_2011.pdf Once again, instead of guessing or misremembering, talk to your good friend the mayor (he was the finance liaison in 2010 & 11), or someone from the administrative team. When you have them on the phone, also ask what happened to the $1M that was supposedly set aside for the turf fields on the MRC. That also seemed to evaporate after the Dems claimed they had "earmarked" the money.
Robert McDowell July 22, 2012 at 10:36 PM
To the best of my knowledge the 1 million for the fields was never formally allocated or placed in escrow. The deal also depended on 1 million from the BOE if property were sold and 1 million fund raising, but the deal did not materialize and formal Council action was never taken for those particulars.
Robert McDowell July 22, 2012 at 10:42 PM
Also it was not simply wrong information, whomever you are, it is the denigrating tone you personally apply when you are providing abundant misinformation.
Mikey D July 22, 2012 at 10:55 PM
Lighten up, Francis.
Patrick Franklin July 22, 2012 at 11:24 PM
Let's all take a deep breath.....
Patrick Franklin July 23, 2012 at 04:18 PM
So was the money allocated or not?? There was a lot of back and forth going on here but no real answer.
Anonymous July 23, 2012 at 05:28 PM
Sadly, some has decided to post using my nom de plume (and hijacked my "photo"), unfortunately this faker has nothing meaningful to add, just trying to confuse the citizens of Madison.
Anonymous July 23, 2012 at 05:38 PM
The then Democratic council swore that the money was being set aside to turf the MRC (and this was after years of foot-dragging on improving any of the current grass fields), yet now appears that the money was used for other capital "necessities," like paving a road in a certain former councilwoman's neighborhood. So much for trusting the word of at least one of the current council candidates on the Democrat ticket. The borough doesn't escrow money. Period. Not sure why you keep using that term.
Anonymous July 23, 2012 at 05:42 PM
The only person providing bogus information is Mr. McDowell. If he doesn't like the "tone" of my post then he should do some research BEFORE he posts clueless, inflammatory comments about current members of council.
Patrick Franklin July 23, 2012 at 06:31 PM
Anonymous, you admitted to being wrong yesterday. Now this...
Jake Remaly (Editor) July 23, 2012 at 06:56 PM
It does appear someone else created an account with the same name and image, and posted a comment. I deleted it.
Robert McDowell July 23, 2012 at 11:35 PM
ORDINANCE 20-2011 From Minutes of June 13, 2011 Councill ORDINANCE OF THE BOROUGH OF MADISON APPROPRIATING $450,000.00 FROM THE CAPITAL FUND BALANCE FOR RECONSTRUCTION OF GREEN AVENUE (WOODLAND TO SHUNPIKE) WHEREAS, the Borough Engineer has recommended that the Borough appropriate $450,000.00 from the Capital Fund Balance for reconstruction of Green Avenue from Woodland Road to Shunpike Road; and WHEREAS, the Director of Finance has attested to the availability of the funds in the Capital Fund Balance in an amount not to exceed $450,000.00 for this purpose; and WHEREAS, the Borough Council has determined that the Borough should appropriate $450,000.00 from the Capital Fund Balance for reconstruction of Green Avenue from Woodland Road to Shunpike Road; and NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT ORDAINED by the Council of the Borough of Madison, in the County of Morris and State of New Jersey, as follows: SECTION 1: The amount of $450,000.00 is hereby appropriated from the Capital Fund Balance for reconstruction of Green Avenue from Woodland Road to Shunpike Road. SECTION 2: The budget of the Borough is hereby amended to conform with the provisions of this Ordinance. SECTION 3: This Ordinance shall take effect as provided by law.
Robert McDowell July 23, 2012 at 11:43 PM
And what I mean by escrow: [mass noun] the state of being kept in custody or trust until a specified condition has been fulfilled: the board holds funds in escrow The money is taken out of the Capital Fund Balance and held for the specific purpose of the project. That is all I meant by using the term.
Patrick Franklin July 23, 2012 at 11:57 PM
So the money was allocated and Anonymous was the one posting "bogus" information. At least "anonymous" now should understand the meaning of escrow.....
Anonymous July 24, 2012 at 10:41 AM
We now have two people who don't understand what escrow is (and isn't), and how a borough ordinance appropriating money isn't even close to an escrow account. Money that is placed in escrow, because it is deposited into a third party's account, is no longer under the depositor's control, and isn't available for any other use. Money appropriated by council, but not spent, is still in the borough's bank account. But more importantly, it can be easily "recalled" by canceling the original ordinance. Just ask the sports folk about the $1M that the Dems supposedly put into "escrow" for the turf fields. Also, still haven't figured out how this is tied to FEMA money, which was the result of an event that took place after the ordinance (above) was enacted.
Robert McDowell July 24, 2012 at 03:51 PM
There was never an ordinance passed for monies for the turf fields ....... I am signing off on this one now!
Anonymous July 24, 2012 at 05:05 PM
From the October 10, 2007 Meeting Minutes - http://www.rosenet.org/uploads/25/october_10_2007.pdf 10/10/07-7 DEDICATE FUNDS FROM THE SALE OF 24 CENTRAL AVENUE FOR AN ARTIFICIAL TURF FIELD After extended comments and detailed discussion, and motions made, withdrawn, and restated, two motions were adopted as follows: 1) Mr. Conley moved to dedicate $1 million in the 2008 Capital Budget from the sale of 24 Central Avenue for General Capital purposes. Ms. Baillie seconded the motion. The following roll call vote was recorded: Yeas: Mrs. Holden, Ms. Baillie , Mr. Bowen, Mrs. Vitale, Mr. Elias, Mr. Conley Nays: None Mr. Conley moved that the Capital Budget for 2008 reflect funding for turf field or fields. The motion was seconded by Mrs. Holden and passed with the following roll call vote recorded: Yeas: Mrs. Holden, Ms. Baillie, Mrs. Vitale, Mr. Elias, Mr. Conley Nays: Mr. Bowen So where is the money??? With interest, it should now total over $1.1M!!
Robert McDowell July 24, 2012 at 08:31 PM
Not an ordinance
Anonymous July 24, 2012 at 10:58 PM
So this Fall, when Ms. Baillie is making promises about what she will do if elected, we should all remember that if they aren't in Ordinance form, they're worthless, just like her promise to DEDICATE $1M towards the turfing of the contaminated fields she purchased with our tax $$$.

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