We’ve taken a much different approach to budgeting and planning for projects than prior administrations. Our approach is always viewed by asking how to improve residents lives and how to structure a project so that it is the most cost-effective for them. As a member of the Finance Committee, we meet every Monday to discuss ways to reduce costs and manage projects creatively.
For instance, we unveiled a Dog Park concept earlier this year and rather than simply proceeding as quickly as possible, we’ve engaged in numerous conversations looking to find funding partners for the effort. We’ve approached the County who has tentatively suggested they want to help make this a reality. We’ve also talked to environmental groups who may have grant money available for us.
With the Community Garden, we encouraged volunteers to first gauge interest to see if this would be something our residents would be interested in. The response was overwhelming. Seeing the dozens of new faces showing support for an idea like this gives me confidence it will be a great addition to the South River community. It has also encouraged us to apply for grant opportunities to support initial building costs. But that’s not all. With a partnership from a nonprofit organization, the garden will be able to access new money sources unavailable if it was just the Borough organizing this.
The Green Team is working with Sustainable Jersey to discover new grant opportunities available to make our town better. We’re working presently to apply for a 100% funded grant to install electric charging stations in the borough as we begin our process of making the way we use and produce energy more friendly and less expensive for residents. We’re also exploring a grant opportunity for playground equipment.
There’s a lot we can do if we properly plan. That’s because planning allows us to ask important questions before we’ve gone past the point of altering our approach. This method is a difference that will ensure we continue to be under budget and make tax moneys go farther. And a dollar of creative financing means a dollar less residents must pay.