Departments present budgetary ‘wish lists' to council

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:46

    WEST MILFORD-Police Chief James R. Dykstra is seeking to complete upgrading department communications with the latest technology for its vehicles. During a budget hearing, Dykstra asked the council to provide funding totaling $36,000 to purchase five additional mobile data terminal systems to be placed in the department's patrol cars. The police department already has eight of these systems, all as yet to be installed, but he is nonetheless requesting that all police vehicles have the equipment. Dykstra said, "These computers which go in our cars have access to the statewide National Crime Information Center system for motor vehicle look up, plate look up, warrants and such and will interface with our computer system." Dykstra also promoted the system as a means of reducing crime in the township. "The mobile data terminals are a tremendous source of information…they can identify more wanted persons and get a lot of information and as a result it drives crime down." Such systems also prevent local citizens from using scanners to monitor police activity in the town. The systems also would be used to integrate the department's record system and allow officers in their vehicles to retrieve police records without going through the dispatcher. Officers would also be able to write police reports on the system and submit them directly to the department from their vehicles. Dykstra also requests $20,000 to purchase riot helmets and hazmat suits as precautionary measures in the event of a riot or chemical attack. Hazmat, an abbreviation for hazardous materials, suits are used to completely seal the wearer from some outside contaminants. Various suits provide various protections against, chemical, biological or radiation contamination. Several other department heads attended the budget meeting to ask for funding. Township Engineer Richard McFadden presented his department's plans for continuing road improvements and resurfacing in the town. His plans are for a total bondable cost of $2.5 million with $390,000 of that to be provided by grants. McFadden said his department was working on a plan to complete the resurfacing of 10 miles of the township's 150 miles of roads each year. This work includes guard rail repairs, striping and rock removal. The location of the roads selected for improvement in 2005 has yet to be made. Also earmarked for resurfacing is a section of Warwick Turnpike that leads up Bearfort mountain to where the third lane ends. A proposition to build a sidewalk on Marshill Hill Road was also presented by McFadden. The projected sidewalk would run from the senior housing center on Lincoln Avenue to the ShopRite plaza. Gerald Storms, director of public works, presented his plans for the year. He proposes the town spend $175,000 for new dump trucks with plows, as well as a new mason dump truck, a hand held GPS unit intended to locate inlets and outlets in their storm water system and a one-ton roller. The final public budget meeting is plann