Town manager Joe Hartnett confirmed that county officials have awarded a grant of $500,000 to Montclair. If everything proceeds, the money would be used to reduce the purchase price of the Senior Center to the Township by $500,000.
That $500,000 will go against the $3.5 million listing price. So knowing that the town will have to borrow and ultimately repay the remainder, and spend $150,000 in annual estimated operating costs, as well as money toward running the 30 or so new programs for seniors, teens and people with disabilities the town has proposed to offer, what say you? Oh, and the town has a $200 million in debt.
If you voted no, Peg Adam is collecting emailed petition signatures from anyone who objects to the purchase. Send your email objections here. She also sent the following email to town council members…
To: Montclair Council Members:
Regarding the potential purchase of the Senior Care Center for a municipal community center, I’ve learned through the wonderful information shared on the watercooler that Fairlawn, Caldwell and Woodbridge have community centers. I don’t know how they are financed and operated. My online research turned up the Woodbridge Center, which is opperated by United Skates of America for its rink and the YMCA for its indoor pool and fitness facility.
Since as councilors you should do due diligence, or instruct the manager’s office to do so, in research for purchase of this senior center, I respectfully request that you supply me and any other of your constituents you wish with answers to the following questions:
1. Have you or the manager’s office visited any other town community centers? Which ones? The following questions are for comparison sake.
2. Who actually operates the community centers in Caldwell, Woodbridge, Fairlawn? Town staff? paid outsiders? other?
3. What programs are operated out of these centers?
4. What are the age groups served?
5. How many staffers are required for whatever programs they operate?
6. What are the total operating costs at each center?
7. Are staffers union employees? Town employees? How are they covered for insurance, benefits, etc?
8. On average, how many residents patronize these centers on a daily basis?
9. What are their operating hours? daytime? evening?
10. How do people get to these centers? town bus? individual cars?
11. How many parking spaces at each center?
12. What is the acreage/open space surrounding each center?
13. How were these centers financed at their inception?
I look forward to your responses. pegi adam