After introducing a budget that will raise municipal taxes by 0.9 percent, Plainsboro is attempting to control costs from every angle. This includes curbing increases that are negotiated with the various unions for township employees.
At its meeting on Wednesday, April 11, Plainsboro Committee introduced three ordinances to amend the township’s non-union salary and wage plan as well as contracts with the SOA Local 319A (superior officers association) and PBA Local 319A over the next three years.
The unions’ salary adjustments will be 2 percent per year for 2011, 2012, and 2013. The unions will make some concessions, including a switch to the state health benefits plan and changes to the continuing education requirements the township pays for.
One ordinance consists of an agreement with the chief of police that his salary and increases will mirror those negotiated for other superior officers in the department. Public hearings on amending the agreements are scheduled for the township committee meeting on Wednesday, May 9.
Other resolutions that were approved on April 11 included the following:
— Temporary emergency appropriations for the municipal budget, which Township CFO Greg Mayers said will last through June, if needed. Plainsboro awaits some documentation from the state, but Mayers said the 2012 budget could be adopted by April 23 at the earliest.
— Approving participation with the state of New Jersey’s Safe and Secure Communities program. Mayor Peter Cantu says Plainsboro has derived over $65,000 worth of benefits from the program.
— Release of developer review and inspection fees for 13 properties of Centex Homes LLC.
— Accepting developer inspection fees for NJ American Water’s six road opening permits.
— Purchase of a new Dodge Charger police vehicle.
— Authorizing the use of competitive contracting for ambulance billing services.
— For the planned new bus route, an award of a bid for the Scudders Mill Road bus shelter. The cost will be paid by a developer’s contribution.
In his update to the township committee, Plainsboro Police Chief Guy Armour said the department plans to conduct interviews with two final candidates for a new position being created in advance of the opening of the new hospital in late May.
The Plainsboro Fire Company is also preparing for the hospital’s opening. A full-scale drill will be held on Tuesday, April 24, at 7 p.m. Scott Kivet, the new commissioner in charge of personnel with the fire district, says the drill is based on planning for the hospital’s mutual aid box alarms.
“We have to test our response. It’s a very large, new building so we generated a mutual aid box plan for it, and we’re going test the plan as if there were a fire in one of the buildings. We’ll try to get feedback from our mutual aid fire companies and the township’s O.E.M. (office of emergency management),” Kivet said.
He specified the mutual aid fire companies as West Windsor, East Windsor, South Brunswick, and other local towns, and each will be participating in the April 24 drill. Kivet says there should not be an impact on local traffic, however, since the drill is scheduled for after rush hour.