MADISON — In a joint prepared statement, Democratic candidates for the Madison Borough Council, Councilman John Hoover of Overhill Drive, and former Councilman Bob Landrigan of Green Village Road point to the borough’s program of sustainable infrastructure investment, which continues to be a major win for Madison residents.
Mr. Landrigan observed: “When I was first elected to Council in 2012, the borough was seriously under-investing in infrastructure, and generating most of its investment dollars by drawing down the existing capital improvement fund along with one-time sales of borough property. This was clearly not sustainable. Now, guided by recommendations from the 2014-2015 strategic planning effort, the council is funding our general capital and utility investment on a financially responsible, pay-as-you-go basis.”
Councilman Hoover continued: “This year Council has allocated over $7.8 million for borough-wide capital improvements and has defined a $30 million plan of investments in Madison’s roads, utilities, and other critical infrastructure for the next five years. Over $4.6 million is going to general capital in 2020, of which nearly $2.7 million is for our roads and $625,000 is for stormwater and sanitary sewer improvements. An additional $3.2 million is going to investments in our water and electric utilities.
This year, the borough has taken on two major road reconstruction projects. The Glenwild Road – Glenwild Circle project is now complete. Improvements include new curbing, drainage improvements, and roadway milling and paving (including repaving the TJS School parking lot). The Burnet Road project is still underway. The project includes milling, paving, and the construction of new sidewalks and is partially funded by an NJDOT Local Aid Grant.
All of Madison’s roadway milling and paving projects for 2020 have now been completed. These included projects for Roscoe, Alma, Rachael, Alexander, and Highland Avenues; Cedar, Walnut, and Grove Streets, Peachtree, East, and West Lanes; and Cross Gates Road. In addition, the Covid-19 lockdown made it expeditious to undertake the planned repaving of the borough’s Maple Avenue, Kings Road, and Prospect Street parking lots.
Needed equipment will also be purchased this year for our police, public works, and fire departments. The planned purchase of a replacement of the 30-year-old reserve Fire Engine #3 and the 25-year-old Rescue Vehicle #4 with a single, combined pumper and rescue vehicle is anticipated to take place later this year. The borough has been accruing funds for this major equipment purchase since 2018.”
The candidates concluded: “Madison has long funded municipal infrastructure projects from the utility surplus. This minimizes the need for bonding, keeps our municipal tax rate down, and helps to maintain our enviable AAA credit rating. An additional benefit is that: it gives our non-profits the opportunity to contribute to the cost of maintaining the key infrastructure that benefits them.
Infrastructure continues to age and ultimately deteriorates. But because our previous councils have pursued responsible fiscal policies, we are able to continue to invest in equipment, our roads, our sewers, our water mains, and our utilities at a rate that ensures that we stay ahead of this process of deterioration – even in the face of unexpected revenue shortfalls as a consequence of the pandemic crisis. We are maintaining our infrastructure at a sustainable rate, and we fund it in a responsible manner utilizing the utility surpluses.”