4/28/22 - To the residents of the Township of Washington,
The Administration has listened to your voices, and we have heard your concerns regarding relocating the DPW at the Charlie Browns location. We appreciate that you attended Council Meetings and gave us your feedback. We have begun to explore another potential use that could address this and additional town needs.
We are all aware the DPW requires a new permanent facility. What many are not aware of is that the Police Department has also outgrown its existing obsolete space. Their space was marginally renovated in 1997 and during that renovation they, in fact, lost space. Critical requirements, such as a Sally Port and modern holding cells that are not located in a basement and down a full flight of stairs, were not addressed at that time. The Police Department also uses more vehicles than in the past due to the increase of outside billing and special detail requirements. The need to provide and upgrade their facilities has only grown more imperative in recent years. They were scheduled to be addressed in the coming years to spread out the costs of these and all the other critical infrastructure maintenance and improvements that were ignored for so long. Therefore, the following tentative plan and proposal is being formulated:
Construct a new Police Headquarters on the Charlie Browns site.
Move the DPW administrative space into the existing police department space. With minimal renovation, it can accommodate the needs of the department.
Construct a new DPW garage at the existing Town Hall location for DPW operations.
This is one of the reasons it was prudent to appoint a Town Architect last year. Without having one, we would not have been able to act quickly on the residents’ concerns. We have been working on plans and cost projections with the architect since the last Council meeting. When they are complete, they will be disseminated to the Council and the public for review and input. The potential exists for many positive results from this plan. It addresses local residents’ issues by leaving the DPW at its existing location. It provides a significant amount of parking and space at Town Hall by moving police department vehicles and the employees’ personal vehicles off site. Current updates and requirements for the police department can be properly addressed in a new, one-story facility. Our DPW and Police employees will be better equipped to serve our residents many years into the future with these new facilities.
We look forward to disseminating these plans and more input and discussion on them as we continue to move Washington Township forward. As stated at the 4/18/22 council meeting, the Township Council of the Township of Washington will hold a Special Public Meeting with public comment on the following day:
Tuesday, May 3, 2022: 7:30 pm in council chambers - This will be a hybrid meeting - meeting access will be posted on the agenda which will be available as always on the Meeting Agenda / Minutes Page here.