Home » Hopewell Borough Council Approves $4M Budget and New Road Project Regulations

Hopewell Borough Council Approves $4M Budget and New Road Project Regulations

by Aaron Twitchell

With the approval of the 2024 municipal budget at just over $4 million, Hopewell Borough Council set its course for the coming year. Adopted at the May 2 meeting, the budget will include several infrastructure projects, economic development programs, and investments in education, water, and business.

Hopewell Borough budget

The average $300,000 home will see a tax increase of about $26.25. Council gave a rundown of where Borough taxes are allocated, including:

  • Major street repairs on Walnut Street and Hart Avenue;
  • Water main replacement on Newell Court;
  • Restoration and repairs at the railroad station and the Public Works facilities;
  • Stormwater basin repairs; and 
  • Borough payments to Township services, such as police and Board of Health.

The vote to introduce the adoption of the budget was carried unanimously and will receive its second reading at the next meeting on Thursday, June 6. 

New process for road projects adopted

A major change to local governance received its second reading, public comment, and adoption during the May meeting. Moving forward, anytime a Borough street must be opened—for repair or installation—by an outside construction company—for any reason—that company will be required to come before Council. 

At such a hearing, the company will be required to pay into a bond and obtain a permit for the project. Once the road has been patched, the bond funds will remain on the books for one year. If the road patch has not failed and is in good condition after that time, the bond will be returned to the contractor 

Council was optimistic that this would provide assurance that road projects be completed not only in a timely manner but with attention to quality and detail.

Stormwater management plan approved

Also receiving its second reading and a unanimous vote was the Borough’s stormwater management plan, previously before the Planning Board.

Several basins need repair and at least three leaks in the Borough’s water system will receive treatment in the coming year, including a major rupture on Broad Street.

Additional water-related plans addressed in the budget include well repairs and plans to meet new federal guidelines for PFOS chemicals. PFOS, or perfluorooctanesulfonic acid, is a chemical found in a variety of products, particularly non-stick and stain-resistant consumer, some packaging materials, and other industrial processes. PFOS has been found to wreak havoc on the immune system and is now considered a global pollutant.

Currently, the Borough has enjoyed success in reducing the prevalence of PFOS particles to the tune of 8 consecutive quarters under the limit of 70 ppt (parts per trillion). New regulations will call for water with less than 4 ppt, and the Borough has begun to prepare for such demands by estimating costs for updating equipment and processes in the pump system.

Borough administrator Doug Walker is charged with managing the day-to-day operations, overseeing personnel and departments, and coordinating interdepartmental operations, including those of the Borough attorney, engineer, and auditor. 

In his report, he emphasized the Borough’s commitment to complete repairs at the Public Works facility and railroad station, as well as the re-pavement of Hart Ave. and, finally, the completion of new window installations at the Hopewell Public Library.

Other business

Council liaisons gave their reports toward the end of the meeting including

  • Updates on pedestrian safety, such as the new 25-mph speed zone for the entirety of Broad Street through the Borough;
  • May 13 Town Hall at 7pm on the possible sale of the Borough’s water infrastructure (stay tuned for MercerMe coverage);
  • May 19 is National EMS Week and there will be a family picnic at the firehouse from 1-4pm;
  • There will be a bulky waste pick-up and town-wide yard sale in early June, more information TBA.

Mayor Kennedy updated attendees on litigation between Verizon and Hopewell Borough that has been pending since 2009. Kennedy said he is optimistic of a positive outcome given previous rulings but is doubtful the case will be heard by the New Jersey Supreme Court during its current term.

The next Hopewell Borough Council meeting will be on Thursday, June 6 at 7pm.

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Contact us: [email protected] 

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