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Temporary Administrative Offices Discussion Continues in Hightstown

The Hightstown Borough Council also welcomed a new volunteer fireman Monday evening

Editor's note: This story has been changed to more accurately reflect comments made by Borough Administrator Mike Theokas regarding discussions with the owners of the Ely House.

With a brief agenda slated for Monday night’s Hightstown Borough Council Meeting, the council continued their discussion on temporary housing for borough administrative employees, passed resolutions, and welcomed a new volunteer firefighter to Hightstown.

Borough Administrator Mike Theokas, who was set the task of reaching out to owners of properties with potential during the previous borough council meeting, reported progress is being made on arranging a temporary housing site for borough employees.

He said he has attempted to contact several property owners and has spoken to the owners of the Rug Mill about leasing the parking lot behind the Ely House. The site is owned by the Rug Mill owners and would be used for temporary trailers. 

He also is scheduled to meet with First Constitution Bank in the near future.

Councilwoman Gail Doran expressed concern over a perceived lack of progress, and Theokas responded that he and other borough employees are moving as quickly as possible.

To move the process along faster, Doran asked if the effort to ascertain a location could move in parallel with an effort to attain trailers.

Theokas said these two efforts were in fact moving in parallel, and that the next step would be to put the trailers out to bid.

Council agreed they would like a resolution prepared for the next council meeting that would authorize a bidding process for these trailers. The borough would have to put out generic specifications for the trailers that trailer companies would have to meet.

“We really don’t have enough time to do things one way or another,” Doran said.

She suggested the council also form a subcommittee to assist with the workload. That discussion was tabled for the time being.

“We don’t seem to be too much further along than we were two weeks ago, and I think we need to put a little imperative in this,” Doran said.

When council consulted Hightstown Police Director James Le Tellier regarding the police department’s needs, he recommended the borough relocate its communications systems to behind the public works building. Le Tellier said he is surprised the existing communications tower lasted as long as it has.

Council agreed to move the communications systems, a process that would also require the borough to go out to bid.

Council also passed a number of resolutions Monday night, including a resolution proclaiming Dec. 10 as “Communities of Light Day,” a resolution renewing the borough’s shared services agreement with West Windsor Township for Health Services, which was initially entered into in 2001, and a resolution allowing the borough to utilize the online auction services of EMEX, LLC to procure electricity for the borough at a better rate.

Joining Hightstown Engine Company # 1, Pawell J. Szlezak was sworn in by Hightstown Borough Mayor Steven Kirson.

“A group of very dedicated people come forward and offer their services to the borough,” he said. “We’re very fortunate to have them, and we have another addition.”

B.Bennett December 05, 2012 at 11:50 AM
The history of the council getting continues....nothing gets done and they talk forever and do nothing and again....consolidation talks started in the 1960's, rug mill property is sitting there with again NOTHING being done, minute maid, rebuild borough hall and relocate employees to a temporary place....my guess they will talk about this ten years from now and nothing has been done....not one! ....and I am not negative....I am realistic....
B.Bennett December 05, 2012 at 11:52 AM
correction - should read "the history of the council getting nothing done continues" -
Hightstown Blues December 05, 2012 at 02:15 PM
To be fair, from the way Gail Doran is quoted it sounds like the council is the one trying to push things along. It's the same in most articles about borough hall with council looking like they're the ones trying to move ahead and being given excuses about why things are moving slowly.
Robert Langdon December 05, 2012 at 07:27 PM
So the decision is to attain trailers for temporary housing of borough employes. When was that imbecilic decision made in what secret meeting or correspondence. Is nothing done in public by the Doran,Thibault, Woods team of council members, our pseudo experts bent on building Borough hall in a flood plain or locating temporary trailer housing, three years, in the same flood plain while waiting for the replacement borough hall which is an absurd waste of insurance money that could be better spent. The citizens of Hightstown need to attend council meetings and question the sanity of these three buffoons who obviously are suffering from sort of mental incapacitation or paranoia. There is. $500,000 deductible on our insurance which they do not comprehend since the insurance is paying for rentals but those costs will be added on to the reconstruction costs and the $500,000 deducted from the entire cost of rentals and reconstruction costs. They think there is a bottomless well of insurance money so they don't have to make rational decisions on their expenditures. So the total cost of these rentals and the cost of reconstruction of Borough hall will have $500,000 subtracted from it. These is no free lunch/ rentals. The delay in determining the location and a building for Borough Hall is wasting taxpayer money by these three no nothings. They have been told not to rebuild Borough Hall in a flood plain by every entity available for advice. Enough of this stupidity.
Hightstown Blues December 05, 2012 at 07:59 PM
Apparently Robert Langdon missed a few things. The decision about temporary offices was written about in the Patch last week as taking place during the council meetings on 11/5 and 11/19. The same article says the temporary move is "thanks to recent concessions made by the borough’s insurance company."

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