At last weeks reorganization meeting, Chester Borough Mayor Bob Davis shared a recap of 2012. Davis categorized the year as a year of change, a year of accomplishments and a year of service.
Year of Change
1. Police Department Turnover
Pete Taylor, a long term police office retired as a Sergeant
Keith Anderson, a long term officer retired as the Detective
New Police Officers: Patrolman Jay Hardy, Patrolman Sean Horst, Patrolman Louise Capone.
2. Court & Court Administrator moved to 50 North Rd Municipal offices.
3. Department of Public Works (DPW)
a. Bill Harm, retired from the DPW Superintendent position
b. Kevin Eskow hired full time.
Year of Accomplishments
1. New Court Room at 50 North Road Municipal Complex completed. All Council, Court, Board and Commission meetings are now held at 50 North Road.
2. The DPW was honored by the American Public Works Association for the first runner-up to the best project in New Jersey saving the taxpayer money for our new Court Room. Councilman Matt Finney designed the Court Room and the DPW led by Bill Harm did the build-out saving the taxpayers approximately $60,000.
3. Settled a long dispute with sewer operator and lowered basic charge for sewer rates by 11% to all users.
4. Completed second year of successfully working with Chester Township on Chester Day, a combination effort of Clean-up and Celebration activities that occurs on the second Saturday in May each year.
5. Our summer at the Chester Area Pool was very positive. After spending over $200,000 to resurface the pool in the Spring (without borrowing), there was a warm summer, full membership, happy patrons, good food and many activities.
6. Diligent work by the CFO saw bonding of borough debt over 20 years, providing long term payment stability and a low locked in interest rate.
7.Contracted for a solar project to be constructed behind our offices at 50 North Rd. This capital project will cost residents nothing but will provide nearly all of the electric power for our facilities and should save the taxpayers over $200,000 in electric power costs for the next 15 years.
8. The Governing Body with the work of the Affordable Housing Sub-Committee
completed the State required COAH spending plan. The borough also contracted with a property seller to purchase a Borough property and contracted providers to develop Affordable Housing in Chester Borough.
Year of Service to Residents
1. Various Boards and Commissions and people that served on Committees,
essentially all of our volunteers, thank you for your service. You have done well this year in serving the needs of Chester.
2. This year employees and many volunteers went above and beyond in service.
When Sandy came to town all employees and many volunteers served in one way or another as we opened a Warming Station in our Municipal Offices following the devastation from the Hurricane. They helped our residents find the showers in our building, making coffee and quesadillas, listening to their stories and their concerns. My thanks to all the volunteers and employees that stood tall when the need was great.
The DPW and Police, another group of employees, served in keeping our streets open during the storm to allow other first responders to attend to transformer fires, live electric lines, and other emergency calls. Subsequently, in the ensuing weeks after the storm the DPW has diligently worked to bring our town back to normal by clearing away the storm debris, chipping the branches, removing large trees and generally getting our Borough back to normal. Finally, the churches and businesses that opened their doors both warmed our hearts and fed those in need (myself included). My greatest appreciation for all that was done.
As I review our Chester Borough at year end 2012, I can proudly say we have met storm Sandy and we have made'lt through. Chester Borough came together as neighbors should in times of great need and we are better for it.
Robert Davis, Mayor Chester Borough