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Council approves $1.5 million contract to upgrade communications system for police and emergency services PDF Print E-mail
Written by Joe Krakoviak   
Thursday, 25 February 2010 00:47

The town council approved a significant upgrade to the police and emergency services communications system that is designed to correct problems the business administrator said had become a public safety issue. The council approved 4-0 (Councilman Anderton recused himself) a resolution for a $1.5 million contract to Eastern Communications, Ltd., at its February 23, 2010, meeting.


The contract calls for Eastern to significantly upgrade the current system, which dates to 1993. It was originally installed by a predecessor company to Eastern, which has also provided maintenance of the system during this time. The project includes the development of a second transmittal site located on the water tank in Livingston near the West Orange border; Livingston is not charging the town for this use. The current system has had severe problems operating in the mountainous area west of Pleasant Valley Way, according to comments at the council meeting.


The contract also calls for an increase in the monthly payment to Eastern to maintain the equipment, rising from the current $9,052 per month to $12,852 in the third year of the contract subject to change if the town modifies the number of units and control stations in service.

The contract does not include improvements the town will need to make in a separate contract at the water tank site, including an antenna and electrical service. The work is scheduled to start immediately on a 45-day timetable to completion. The town had held contract negotiations with two vendors, including Eastern, for about the last year, according to comments at the meeting.

The council approved the contract subject to further review of the contract issues by Councilman Barnes.

The resolution to approve the contract was a late addition to the meeting agenda.

Last Updated on Thursday, 25 February 2010 01:21
Ordinances and resolutions -- Town Council meeting Feb. 23, 2010 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Joe Krakoviak   
Saturday, 20 February 2010 12:34

For the first time, the town has posted online the ordinances and resolutions that the Town Council will consider. The documents and the agenda for the February 23, 2010, meeting are posted here. Items under consideration include:

1. Resolution to appove the five council appointees to the citizens budget advisory committee,
2. Ordinance that would regulate soil removal, on 2nd and final reading,
3. Ordinance that would give hiring preference to town residents for police and fire positions, on 2nd and final reading,
4. Ordinance that would create a membership for the second half of the season starting in early August through Labor Day,
5. Resolution that would increase fees for participants in disabled program parties offered the recreation department,
6. Resolution transerring $127,000 from various town accounts (including $75,000 from gasoline) to provide $99,000 for salt, chloride and plowing, as well as $28,000 for streeet lighting,
7. Resolution to hire artists to create outdoor murals at various locations, to be paid from donated funds including an initial payment for supplies of $500,
8. Resolution to create a mural on the north wall of 555 Valley Rd. (known as the Arts Incubator, developed by Housing and Neighborhood Development Services http://www.handsinc.org/incubator.htm), by Dan Fenelon http://www.wavedog.com/ for $4,000, paid by the town from donations.
9. Resolution to hold an executive (non-public) council session to consider a police personnel matter,
9. Resolution to approve professional services candidates that are compliant with the state "pay-to-play" law.

Last Updated on Saturday, 20 February 2010 23:45
Ordinances and resolutions considered at Town Council meeting February 9, 2010 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Joe Krakoviak   
Tuesday, 16 February 2010 17:07

The West Orange Town Clerk -- for the first time after many requests -- made available in electronic format the draft resolutions and ordinances for the February 9, 2010, Town Council meeting. She has also erected a bulletin board outside the clerk's office in Town Hall where all these documents are planned to be posted for review ahead of the council meeting. At the council meeting, she also indicated that the town planned to have all the ordinances and resolutions under consideration on the town website before the next council meeting February 23, 2010.

[Please note that I received these documents in Microsoft Word format and converted them to Adobe Acrobat, which is a more universal viewing application. In the conversion, certain types of fonts cause some letters to have more separation than normal. This tends to happen with serif fonts. I decided not to convert the original text to a san-serif font (such as the type you're now reading), which will not suffer the letter separation, to keep the documents as close to their original size and appearance. If enough people request, however, I'll start coverting the font format conversion if the need to post the documents continues.]

[Also, please note that the documents do not include plain-language descriptions of each document as has been discussed at several council meetings.]

This is the link to the agenda for the Town Council's February 9, 2010, meeting.

This is a link to all the resolutions and ordinances, It will open in a separate window, and you can click on individual documents of interest http://www.westorangegrassroots.org/images/stories/020910/

Last Updated on Tuesday, 16 February 2010 23:00
Town Council approves pulling employees out of state health-benefits plan PDF Print E-mail
Written by Joe Krakoviak   
Sunday, 07 February 2010 22:49

The Town Council approved two resolutions at a special meeting February 5, 2010, withdrawing employees from the state health-benefits program in favor of a contract with a private provider that the town administration projects will save $531,156 in lower premiums over the next year.


In a special meeting called on 48-hours notice, the council voted 4-0 (Councilman Rob Parisi did not attend the meeting) to withdraw from the New Jersey State Health Benefits Program and to accept a competitive bid from Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield. Town Business Administrator Jack Sayers told the council the state program was raising premiums 21 percent, while the private carrier had bid an increase of 16-17 percent.


[The discussion at the meeting centered on reducing health care costs. A front-page story in The Star-Ledger on Sunday, February 7, 2010, titled “N.J. Gov. Christie, lawmakers propose sweeping pension, health care changes for public employees,” reported that the governor and legislators would introduce reforms on Monday, February 8, 2010, “that could affect every public employee in New Jersey while saving the state billions of dollars …”

[The story reported a study estimating health care costs this year at $856 million for municipalities and $1.84 billion for school districts. The story said the reforms included “requiring all current public employees to contribute at least 1.5 percent of their annual salaries toward their health benefits, and all future retirees to contribute at least 1.5 percent of their base pension to their health benefits.”

Last Updated on Monday, 08 February 2010 00:09
Read more: Town Council approves pulling employees out of state health-benefits plan
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