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Budget Shortfall Halts Roadway Project

Fairview Avenue paving won't fulfill original schedule of completion.

A cap on financial resources has caused one of Washington Township’s road projects to be cut off a full three-tenths of a mile shorter than originally planned.

The milling and paving project on Fairview Avenue leading up to Drakestown Road now stops a bit short, in the area of 358 Fairview, rather than at the intersection of Laketown Road, where it was originally scheduled to end.

The full project would have spanned 1.1 miles and is being completed by the township’s .

“(The township) gave us a $55,000 budget for the project,” Assistant Superintendent of the Department of Public Works Roger Read said. “We know once we started, to do the whole thing, we’d end up going over.”

Read also said the department needed to use $15,000 out of its own budget to complete the leveling course of the roadwork.

“Using that money from our budget just means there will be less to work on other potholes and road projects,” Read said.

The work began in the middle of the final week of June, Read said, and expects all the paving and additional shoulder work to be done by the middle of next week.

Kept in the dark

Kathlyn Carter, a Fairview Avenue resident whose home is located on the unpaved section of the roadway, said she didn’t know about the roadwork–or the new stopping point–until it was underway.

Carter said she never received a letter or notification from the town that the road would be closed to through traffic between Laketown and Drakestown Roads, and only found out when her husband had to drive around a barricade one day.

“I found out from a neighbor that the road was being paved along this stretch,” Carter said. “But when I saw where they were stopping, I asked why it was being done like that.”

Personnel of the DPW told Carter money for the project ran out, she said, and there was no information about when it would be completed.

A resident since 1989, Carter said she believed it was the first time that stretch of roadway had been milled and paved since she moved to town.

“We’ve never had kids in the schools and pay high property taxes,” Carter said. “And now they can’t complete the road because there’s not enough money? Where are my taxes going?”

Roger Freiday, a resident who lives on a private road off of Fairview Avenue, has been in Washington Township since 1966, and is glad to see the work being done.

“This was one of the worst roads I’ve ever seen,” Freiday said. “I’d love to see (all of Fairview Avenue) get paved, but the worst part definitely got done.”

Freiday said he wasn’t surprised by the financial shortfall for the project, and wondered when–and if–the 0.3-mile stretch would be completed at all.

The $55,000 allocation was part of a . Other repairs under that approval include Pleasant Grove and East Valley Brook Roads.

The .

"We ran out of funds for this particular project," Washington Township Mayor Ken Short said. "But we may still be able to have it complete this summer, depending on how the other projects turn out."

Short said some of the other projects came in under bid, and once all work is complete this summer, there may be funds available to complete the Fairview Avenue project.

"We're going to have the (DPW) work up some numbers to see what it would cost to complete the project," Short said. "And hopefully we'll be able to finish the paving."

LV Taxpayer July 03, 2012 at 11:28 AM
Per my previous posts (where I was told, if I don't like it, move to Hackettstown), we're carelessly over spending tax dollars on things we DON'T need, so we can't afford to pay for things we DO need. Don't need to be a lawyer to figure this one out.
roger freiday July 03, 2012 at 11:32 AM
This part of fairview was never REALLY ''paved'', it was all 'tar and chip'' where they grade, apply hot tar and crushed stone chips, repeatedly. It was a good cheap alternative but the Twp. never did maintenance on it except for splotches of bumpy fill. Me, I am satisfied that we got ANYTHING up here on ''forgotten mountain'', and I have to say I begged, cajoled, and even made vague threats if this cow path was not dealt with. SO- it proves if you want ACTION you better go to a lot of Twp. meetings, DPW budget meetings too and SPEAK OUT. I do compliment the road dept. for often quick response to my requests for pothole repair and dangerous shoulders to be remediated. NOW, let us FINISH this job this year please ! I was amazed when Newburg rd. was re-done, it was a billiard table next to Fairview Ave !
Kathlyn Carter July 03, 2012 at 01:32 PM
Thank you, Jason, for taking the time to follow up on this story but I guess that our town officals are not going to budge on this one. After all, there are not enough of us affected by this to cause any kind of electoral vote problem for them. We are the same section of town identified as one of the "hot spots" for numerous JCP&L power outages. I was very involved in that issue and at least JCP&L did follow through on tree trimming on our road. Sad to say that we can count on JCP&L more than we can our town officials. We care about our town, we give to our town (my husband is on the rescue squad), but the town obviously has no use for us other than collecting our $15,000 annual taxes to pay for whatever they decide is important (some more consultants needed for some stupid studies that if they would just ask the residents, they could get the answers at no charge?) I feel like I don't belong here, I am hurt that the Long Valley that I loved apparently does not exist on this small section of Fairview Ave.
Tracy Tobin July 03, 2012 at 03:53 PM
Kathlyn Don't give up yet. I spoke with the Mayor the other day, and he and Committeeman Kennedy (DPW Liaison for 2012) are going to pursue trying to find unexpended funds from other road projects from previous years to see if there are any additional monies that can be used to make up the short fall in the Fairview project.
Jerry Gordon July 05, 2012 at 03:05 AM
Why are they paving Pleasant Grove Rd again and not fully paving Fairview Rd? Fairview Rd. residents have gotten Short changed, not pun intended.
Kathlyn Carter July 05, 2012 at 02:17 PM
Thank you Tracy Tobin for caring. Even if I do not get the results that I want, it means a lot to me that you listened and you tried.

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