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South Amboy Passes Best Practices

SOUTH AMBOY – At the October 15, 2014 South Amboy Business Meeting Business Administrator Camille Tooker had good news for those in attendance.

Tooker stated that the Best Practices Worksheet which was completed by herself and the CFO (Chief Financial Officer), Terry O’Neil, had been returned to the State. She was informed that South Amboy had received the required score and they would not be losing any funding.

[Current Best Practices as promulgated by the state of New Jersey can be found by clicking here.]

The Following is information downloaded from the DCA Website: On February 22, 2011, Governor Chris Christie presented his proposed FY 2012 budget to the State Legislature. All municipalities will be receiving the same State formula aid that they received under the State FY 2011 budget. “This budget, and the changes in State policy it represents, requires that municipal officials continue to actively examine a wide range of actions to control and reduce costs and take actions such as: Considering not only how services are provided, but the need for them; Sharing services with neighboring governments, schools, and county agencies; Reviewing all employee contract and benefit policies for consistency with the economy and government financial conditions; and, Taking advantage of all opportunities to reduce costs before exercising their local authority to increase property taxes, subject to the two percent levy cap.

“This worksheet consists of how the City conducts their business on a daily practice. Some of the questions on the Best Practices are not required by law, but it is a guideline of what the City needs to do so we will not lose any funding. Every year there are new questions on the Best Practices Sheet. The League of Municipalities is questioning some of the items on the Best Practices Worksheet because sometimes municipalities are penalized unfairly,” Tooker stated.

City Engineer Mark Rasimowicz spoke about the Garden State Bridge Repair detours. He informed the Council, “Next year the county will be making repairs on their roads. Because of this, some of the detour routes will be going through the cities. The Council by resolution has to approve the detours. The Police Department has a copy of the letter informing them that this will be occurring next year but the Council has to make sure there is a prior approval first.”

Rasimowicz answered a question posed by Councilwoman Zusette Dato, “Do we have plans in place in case of severe weather events?”

Rasimowicz answered her, “All the fire houses have generator hookups as well as the First Aid Squad and Senior Housing. After the storm (Sandy) hit, the flood elevations were raised. The City added one foot above FEMA requires. As far as the Waterfront, we have the walkway back. The mitigations are still being worked on. I talked to Congressman Pallone about looking at our coastline. Roosevelt Avenue and John Street still need work to be done. We applied for every list we can get on for grants for funding for any future disasters.”

B.A. Camille Tooker said, “Any Senior Building owned by the Housing Authority can get grants from the Federal Government.”

Dato was concerned about  the walkway between the YMCA and the entrance to the  Waterfront park. “Another light is needed because that path is very dark at night.”

Rasimowicz said, “I will look at the development plans to see if that’s forthcoming (additional lights). If not, I’ll talk to JCP&L (Jersey Central Power & Light).”

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