The agreed Tuesday to set aside $323,000 for capital improvements, but not before a resident questioned the possible purchase of new pagers for the rescue squad.
The funds are designed to pay for such items as defibrillators for the police department, an emergency generator for the rescue squad, a new mason dump truck, computer hardware, lawn movers and radio networking equipment.
Deputy Mayor Gloria McCauley said the recommendations were made following the township’s “no debt, pay as you go,” policy that allowed the committee to select the highest priority for capital funding.
Committee Member Robert Wagner said the new capital spending plan was 50 percent smaller than last year’s plan.
Committee Member Frank DelCore said the capital ordinance does not add to the township’s tax rate this year or change the 2012 budget. He said there were funds leftover from 2011 to cover the costs of sidewalk and street repairs.
Ron Campbell, an experienced emergency radio hand, said the township should not spend $45,000 to replace pagers for the rescue squad.
He said the pagers the committee was planning to purchase would need to be replaced in a few months because of a federally mandated frequency swap scheduled to begin on Jan 1, 2013.
The township is connected to the Somerset County emergency radio system, which includes frequencies that will be changed next year, Campbell said.
“They must migrate to a different band of frequencies and since the pagers you have been asked to purchase can not be converted to a different band they will have to be thrown out and new ones purchased again,” Campbell said.
Instead, Campbell suggested the township hold onto the current pagers, which will operate satisfactorily after Jan. 1, and upgrade them gradually.
DelCore said the capital plan was a recommendation, not a spending plan, and that further discussion on the pager purchase was warranted.