The Pennington Borough Council discussed their most recent audit and numerous renovations in their first September meeting.
The Borough’s audit results have come in and, according to auditor Bob Morrison, has the Borough “in better shape financially than most towns.”
“We consider any noncompliance to be substantive,” Morrison said. “[Pennington Borough] is well aware of the compliance standards that exist and they are following them.”
Morrison explained that most towns in New Jersey are “not in good places,” with most municipalities still struggling to regain the shape they were in 10 years ago. “You’re in a pretty good place considering most towns in New Jersey are not,” he said.
Morrison added that, if a disaster were to strike the town financially, the Council would have a year buffer to fix it. While a two year buffer would be preferred, according to Morrison, the single year is acceptable, given the state of New Jersey financially.
The coming years however will require multiple undertakings from the Borough, including several road projects, landfill and waterline work, and renovations to the senior center and Borough office. Morrison predicted a drop off in debt in 2020 and that the Borough will have to enter temporary refinancing later this year.
Morrison closed by saying he “loved” working with Pennington Borough, even offering a bounty to his staff to find something wrong with them, only to have them return empty-handed. “Hard work and good planning are about ready to come home and pay some benefits,” Morrison said.
The Borough additionally outlined plans for upcoming projects, including renovations to the senior center in Pennington. The project will be funded by the sale of over $370,000 in bonds in addition to other donations and contributions by other municipalities that will share the center, as well as various donors.
“There will be no money out of our pocket,” said Council Member Joseph Lawver.
The Borough also outlined a plan to revamp the water management system in Pennington. The timing, the Council explained, is due to the combination of a new law requiring the Borough to take additional steps in water management as well as possible $300,000 grant. The new system would help increase water measuring accuracy in the Borough, where current meters inaccurately measure the water. The Council noted that the increased accuracy could create higher bills if more water is found to be used.
“We should be sensitive to the inadvertent but subsequent increase in bills,” Council Member Glen Griffiths said.
The Council noted that the old meters would still be in effect and usable so a comparison could be made.
A number of local events were highlighted as well, including a 9/11 memorial on September 8th at Kunkel Park, a styrofoam and community shredding service on September 15th at Tollgate Grammar School and Trail Day on September 19th.