EATONTOWN: The borough's municipal building which also includes its police department is set to undergo a major renovation.
Several first floor spaces including the clerk's, tax and finance office, will have service windows closer to the front of the building so people would not have to come further into the building. The sewerage authority office would also move from the east side of the building to the west side.
The former borough court room will be renovated to include a training facility for the police, an interview room for the police and sewerage authority and a kitchenette for the police department.
The second floor construction office will be expanded by about 10 feet. This expansion will make the council public meeting room smaller and about three rows of seating would be lost, but officials have said it will be worth it to expand other facilities.
The building's entire HVAC system will also be replaced.
A 2-car sally port will be built between the borough hall and the firehouse next door. The sally port will be used to allow prisoners to be transported into the police department from the interior of the building instead the current situation where they are dropped off outside the building. The 1,000-square-foot structure will cost about $710,000.
Borough Administrator George Jackson said said the project will have a $4.2 million price tag would include all of the project's hard and soft costs.
Architect Kevin Settembrino said the project will also include the use of an environmental engineer to perform hazardous material testing at the municipal building and a scan for underground utilities in the area proposed for the sally port.
Every council member with the exception of Councilman Albert Baginisky agreed that the council should move forward with bonding for the work. Baginsky said he wanted to look at other sites for the borough hall and called the renovations a "Band-Aid."
Councilwoman Virginia East said she has researched every alternative site that could house all of the borough's functions.
"This is the best way to go," East said.
Mayor Dennis Connelly said the project has been discussed for a long time and that every study done has shown that there is a space problem at borough hall.
"It would be a disservice to our employees to put this off any further, it's been in works for 15 years, so it predates everyone here," Connelly said.
A bond ordinance to fund the repairs will likely be introduced by the council this fall.