Thursday evening council called for a special meeting to discuss and vote on the Electric Department construction and to extend the bidding time frame for the construction of the new Public Works Building.
All council members were in attendance, as was Mayor Anthony Court and Borough Solicitor Ed Leymarie.
After much discussion, council passed the motion to cancel the construction and bidding for the new Electric Department Building in a 5-2 roll call vote.
Michelle Lamenza and George Celli were the two council members to vote against the cancellation, stating they stood by their previous vote.
“The building may be working but it’s not updated, and in the future it will need to be replaced,” Celli stated. “At the time council voted in favor of taking the bond to redo the building, the interest rate was good. Now, by the time the building will need to be replaced the interest rates will have gone up.”
Lamenza stated that she believed the interest rates were good, the new construction would show progress in the community, and that she believed the Borough budget was healthy enough to support both of the construction bonds.
Councilwoman Lisa Guerrera rebutted what Lamenza stated by saying she didn’t think it showed progress in the community and instead showed tax payers that council was spending money at “an alarming rate.”
Council President Judy Dici stated that there is no way to know if the interest rates will increase or decrease in the future, furthering that she still believes that wasn’t a good excuse to have taken the bond out at the time.
Since the bond has already been issued, the Borough is still expected to use the money on the Electric Department and will not be allowed to start paying the bond back until 2022.
Instead of building a new Electric Department Building, council will be deciding on how they can make necessary renovations to the current building.
The motion to authorize Franus Architectural Associates to extend the time frame for bidding for the construction of the new Public Works Building was passed all in favor and has been extended to February 27.