Entries for March, 2017

Space-Utilization (Money-Spending) Study

Thursday, March 30th, 2017

Back on September 24, 2015 we had:

2015-800: Authorizing the County Manager to enter into a Shared Services Agreement by and between the County of Union and the Union County Improvement Authority for Strategic Facility Planning Services.

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It seems to have taken a little longer than 90 days but that Space-Utilization Study just came out with the objective to:

 Assess the “Old Jail,” related facilities, and occupancy requirements as outlined in Amendment to Resolution No. 2015-800. From scope: The results of this project will support a “go forward” strategy regarding this asset in support of the overall Strategic Planning Services Report. It will address the future use of the facilities in the context of other planned portfolio activities and will outline essential “next steps” and high level cost comparisons for the various scenarios developed. It will act as a First Phase study that may indicate the need for further, more detailed studies to finalize the preferred scenario.

Whichever way they go, what the proposed scenarios all have in common is tens of millions of dollars in up-front capital costs, almost certainly with the UCIA involved:

space study

UCCF 3/23/17: Miscellany

Thursday, March 30th, 2017

2017-259: Authorizing the County Manager to award the proposed contract for the Department of Engineering, Public Works and Facilities Management: Division of Facilities Management to the National Passenger Corporation aka Amtrak, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, for the purpose of providing two hundred and three (203) Employee Parking, for a contract period of thirty (30) consecutive years from April 1, 2017 through March 31, 2047 in annual rental payments of not to exceed $115,000,for a total not to exceed amount of $3,450,000 for the full contract term.
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2017-272: Authorizing the County Manager to approve Sport Facility Management LLC operational budget for the Warinanco Sports Facility operational expenses for the period of April 1, 2017 through December 31, 2017 in the amount not to exceed $480,000.
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2017-273: Authorizing the County Manager to enter into an agreement with Westfield Veterinary Group for the purpose of providing additional veterinary care and food for the Sheriffs Office’s K9 Unit in the amount of $3,906.07, for a total contract amount not to exceed $18,906.07, for the services rendered in the year 2016.
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2017-281: Amending Resolution Number 2016-260, a resolution awarding contracts for the provision of comprehensive year-round youth programs for out-of-school youth (ages 16-24) for the twelve-month period from April 1, 2016 through March 31, 2017 under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, to extend the contract end date from March 31, 2017 to May 31, 2017 at no additional cost to the County.
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UCCF 3/23/17: Union County College

Tuesday, March 28th, 2017

2017-283: Appointing Dr. Karen Young to the Union County College Trustees to serve the unexpired term ending June 30, 2017.
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And then this in Open Comment time on Union County College in general:
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Courthouse Questions Deflected

Monday, March 27th, 2017

Supposedly set to be ready for occupancy in a month:
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In response to a citizen’s question of the Local Finance Board wondering why a courthouse originally budgeted to to be ready for occupancy on December 19, 2014 at a cost of $33,380,000 wound up (as of now) set to be built April 30, 2017 at a cot of $44,997,581 Decotiis’ response continued to avoid the big questions:

  • Who messed up?
  • What about the bond on this project?
  • Is anything going to be done to reform the UCIA to curb these massive overages?

UCCF 3/23/17: Conflicted Budget Management

Sunday, March 26th, 2017

Can the Scotch Plains Business Administrator oversee the Union County budget?

That question has been asked and answered (the answer being ‘yes’) at freeholder meetings but the question that has not been answered (again and again)…
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is ‘how?’

Here is another place it was asked and the first response:
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UCCF 3/23/17: Mountain Biking at Watchung Reservation

Friday, March 24th, 2017

All 37 commenters (many at the 5-minute limit) in chronological order:

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UCCF 3/23/17: $354,769,823

Friday, March 24th, 2017

From tonight’s freeholder meeting:

2017-261: Resolution to exceed the County tax levy limit and to establish a CAP Bank (N.J.S. 40A: 4-45.14).
2017-262: Authorizing various county entity/entities to exceed the County Entity Budget CAP (P.L., 2015, c.249)
2017-263: Authorizing various county entity/entities to exceed the County Entity Budget CAP (P.L., 2015, c.249)
2017-264: Resolution Introducing and Approving the Annual Budget of the County of Union for the Fiscal Year 2017
Which resulted in this from that 2017 budget introduced tonight:

uc16budget

So with those resolutions to exceed tax levy limits over the years did Union County raise taxes the most they were legally allowed to in 2017?
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uctax

Better Know a Vendor: (1) Development Directions

Wednesday, March 22nd, 2017

In this first of a series we will look in detail at those who are hired by Union County to provide outside services through check registry data (going back to 2004) and past countywatchers reporting to get a picture of how your tax money is being spent.

First up: Development Directions, LLC  which has received over $54 million from Union County since 2004.

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UCCF 3/9/17: 2017 Budget & Miscellany

Thursday, March 16th, 2017


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More Pay-To-Play:
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2017-220: Awarding a Professional Engineering Service Contract to T&M Associates of Middletown, New Jersey to provide ongoing LSRP Environmental Consulting Services associated with the Meisel Park Project, Springfield, for an amount not to exceed $49,600.00. (NJDEP Case 99-04-28-1512 and 01-08-29-1446-05; NJDEP Program Interest ID#t30838; Union County Engineering Project #201 1-030)

2017-222: Authorizing the County Manager to award a Professional Engineering Service Contract, through a Request for Proposal (RFP) process, to Alaimo Group Consulting Engineers, of Mt. HoUy, New Jersey to provide Design, Construction Administration and Inspection Services for the Emergency Generator-Department of Public Works (DPW) Facility, Scotch Plains, New Jersey for an amount not to exceed $85,420.00. (Union County Engineering Project Number 2013-028)

2017-223: Authorizing the County Manager to award a Professional Engineering Service Contract, through a Request for Proposal (RFP) process, to Maser Consulting, PA, of Red Bank, New Jersey to provide Engineering Design Services for Dam Repair Improvements for an amount not to exceed $82,108.00. (Union County Engineering Project Number 2016-043)

UCCF 3/9/17: Open Space Board

Thursday, March 16th, 2017

2017·239: Resolution amending Resolution 2008-46, a resolution amending the by-laws of the Open Space, Recreation and Historic Preservation Public Advisory Committee, to reflect changes as per Union County Ordinance 755-2013 and the proper listing of the “labor” designation as per Resolution 110A-01.

2017·240: Re-appointing the following members to the Open Space, Recreation and Historic Preservation Trust Fund: Arthur Kobitz, Charles Eke, Michael DelSordi (public members) and Rose Checcio (democratic official) for a term beginning January 1, 2017 through December 31, 2019 and appointing Edward O’MaUey (public member) and Maria Carvalho (environmentalist) and Richard Capac (Business) for a term beginning January 1, 2015 through December 31,2017.