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.”