Byram hires financial advisor to show how debt will affect taxpayers

Byram’s council has agreed to hire a financial advisor to help the township manage its debt.

On October 5, council voted 4-1 in favor of paying Phoenix councilors $ 2,500 to guide the township. Councilor Harvey Roseff voted against the measure.

Reviewing capital spending, Deputy Mayor Raymond Bonker said the township has many needs. For the new municipal building project, the council will first receive the final construction documents, then issue a tender and finally bond the money needed to pay for it.

He said the township had other capital needs, including the 10-year project plan for CO Johnson Park, possible purchases of fire trucks, road works and equipment from the Department of Public Works. Bonker said one of his ten-year bonds was due to expire in 2025.

The township has US bailout money to help pay for some of its needs.

In light of all of these things, Bonker said, Byram needs a comprehensive debt management plan to guide the township in its capital spending over many years.

“Interest rates are not going any lower,” he said. “They started to go up.

Bonker said the township needs to lock in as quickly as possible and manage its debt so that landowners don’t see a significant increase in their tax bills.

If the township implements the full debt management plan, he said, the $ 2,500 will be fully credited to the bond fee. Neighboring communities, such as the Township of Vernon and Mountain Lakes, have used the Phoenix Group and their auditor and bond board, he said.

Roseff said he doesn’t believe in financial engineering and doesn’t want Byram to take the “wrong path.” Plus, he said, Vernon has real problems with “some bad business,” which he blamed on professional oversight.

Mayor Alexander Rubenstein said Phoenix advisers would give a very clear picture of the bond structure and how it affects taxpayers over the life of the debt. In addition, he said, the model will help guide the township in the future.


New Principal of Lenape High School: Mayor Alexander Rubenstein said he had met the new principal, Michael Rossi, and visited the school and the Mathematics and Scientific and Technological Engineering (STEM ).

Unique Rescue Pumper: Fire Chief Todd Rudloff discussed combining two aging fire trucks into one rescue pumper, which he says will save around $ 475,000 pushing the next truck replacement from seven to nine years old.

Dirt: Councilor Franco recommended reviewing the Dirty Dirt (Contaminated Soil and Debris) Ordinance. Mayor Rubenstein agreed, saying: “They should dust off the previous dirty dirt ordinance.” He said two households will need to take out a second mortgage on their home to pay for the remediation work, and residents need to be better informed so that they do not accept trucks full of contaminated landfill. Councilor Roseff said the DEP did not enforce its own bylaws in Vernon and Wantage, and passing another bylaw would not lead to greater public awareness.

256 Route 206 Stanhope: Officials agreed to pay the township engineer to assess and represent the interests of Byram residents to the Stanhope Land Use Council.

Mansfield Community Advisory Group: City Councilor Cris Franco said she and the mayor attended a meeting of the Mansfield Community Advisory Group to address the East Brookwood contamination. She said the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection were working to help residents of 19 affected wells, with two affected wells not being claimed. Currently, she said, negotiations were underway with the Suez Water Company to pump water to the affected homes.

Fire Department Coin Drive: City Councilor Jack Gallagher said the coin drive will take place on October 16 and 17 along Route 206.

State best practices: Township administrator Joseph Sabatini said the state’s municipal best practices for 2021 are due on November 3. receive help. Suez Water Company Hangar: Rubenstein said the planning board will review the proposed Suez Water Company hangar that will be installed for the water tower.

Natural gas: Mayor Rubenstein said the board has reviewed New Jersey Natural Gas’ plan to deliver natural gas to the south end of the township – Brookwoods, Lacawanna, municipal building and route 206 corridor – as well as permits and road opening costs. Next week, he said, New Jersey Natural Gas would receive Board of Public Utilities ratification with Byram Township, then conduct a marketing survey, receive feedback from residents, and develop calculations and forecasts.

Elizabethtown Gas: Mayor Rubenstein said the Elizabethtown natural gas installations are underway. In the future, he said, there will be a conference call to review their land use plan for surveying and expansion over the next year.

Verizon along Amity Road: Mayor Rubenstein said Byram approved Verizon’s installation of three micro-cells along Amity Road, which should correct Verizon’s cell phone coverage issues. Once the Amity Road work is completed, he said, the council will discuss with Verizon the areas around CO Johnson Park, Roseville Roadm and Tamarack Road. Rubenstein said he also contacted T-Mobile and AT&T for more information.

CO Johnson Dog Park: Deputy Mayor Bonker said the open spaces committee will review the latest design of the CO Johnson Dog Park. Then the architects, engineers and designers will share their plans with the Highlands Council for their feedback. If all goes well, the first shovelful of soil could take place in the spring.

New municipal construction project: A resident called for a public referendum on the new municipal construction project, saying taxpayers and residents should decide the outcome.

Movie Night: Mayor Rubenstein said Tamarack Park Movie Night shows ‘Back to the Future’.

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