Neptune City Residents to Vote on Projects

By PETE WALTON

Neptune City residents age 14 and up have until Dec. 13 to vote for one of five projects proposed through the borough’s new “participatory budgeting initiative.”

Councilman David Calhoun said all suggestions were vetted for viability by the borough business office before a committee of volunteers chose the five finalists.

The proposals are:
1. A kayak and paddle board storage rack at Memorial Park
2. A dog park at Joe Freda Park at Third and Steiner avenues
3. Updated sign board to promote borough events and information
4. Porch swings at Memorial Park
5. Upgrade of pedestrian signs and crosswalks

According to Calhoun, proposals had to benefit the entire town, be able to be implemented on borough property, have little or no maintenance cost, and fit within a predetermined budget.

The $20,000 a year program was included in the municipal budget approved earlier this year by a 4-2 vote.

“The review process was no easy task, as there were so many great ideas put forth by the residents,” Calhoun said. “All of the project submissions not chosen to be among the top five will be forwarded to the involved borough departments to see if it’s possible to implement them in the future.”

Voting on the five proposals began on Nov. 18. Ballots are available at the borough web site, neptunecitynj.com, at Borough Hall, the library, and the Neptune City Community Center.

Calhoun said Borough Administrator Bryan Russell will verify the ballots after the Dec. 13 submission deadline.

The winning proposal will be announced at the Dec. 23 Borough Council meeting, according to Calhoun.

In addition to Calhoun and Russell, the volunteers named to the proposal review committee are Donald Dorsett, Joann Jodry, Stuart Josberger, Richard Oppegaard, John Pietrunti, Tamara Tallman and Melissa Whalen.

The two Republicans on the council, Andrew Wardell and Joseph Zajack, voted against the budget in part because the participatory initiative allocated tax dollars before voters knew how the money would be spent. Wardell will be sworn in as mayor on Jan. 1, giving Republicans control of municipal government after a year out of power.

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