The Township Council approved a contract for design and engineering services for a dog park and improvements at C.O. Johnson Park at its meeting Tuesday, Sept. 5.
The contract with French & Parrello Associates, an engineering consultant in Wall Township, is not to exceed $137,790.
The council also approved a resolution accepting a grant for that amount from the Highlands Council to fund the contract.
A dog park is planned directly across from the C.O. Johnson Park auxiliary parking area on Roseville Road. It would be located off the hiking trail network on the wooded property.
The dog park would have two separate fenced-in enclosures for large and small dogs with agility courses in each as well as benches, a leash hanger, trash receptacles and dog bag stations.
The park project would include realigning the walking paths to provide a continuous path throughout the park; additional parking for about 70 cars at the south end; and improvements to the stormwater infrastructure. The small practice field and large all-purpose field would be reconfigured and the softball field would be redeveloped. Plans would be created for three additional grass athletic fields with lighting.
Council members approved resolutions:
• Accepting the oil and stone resurfacing of South Shore Road, Sautaug Trail, Weasaug Trail, Mautaug Trail, Harding Road, Hilltop Road, Sherwood Forest Drive, Bank Street and Pine Point.
• Authorizing the purchase of a 2023 Chevrolet Tahoe Pursuit 4WD with optional equipment for the Police Department. The purchase is not to exceed $49,023.
• Authorizing the purchase of a 2023 Chevrolet Tahoe SSV 4WD 5W4 with optional equipment for the Fire Department. The purchase is not to exceed $42,724.
• Accepting a donation from Adam Lloyd Wein of Boy Scouts Troop 276 to the township. His Eagle Scout project was to improve the newly established Johnson/Cranberry Overlook Trailhead.
The basketball courts at C.O. Johnson Park are being renovated and will be closed for about three months, Township Manager Joseph Sabatini said.
During a discussion about goals for the 2024 municipal budget, council members said budget priorities will depend on whether residents approve a referendum for new municipal and police buildings on the Nov. 7 ballot.
If the referendum is not approved, the issue cannot to put to voters again for two years but the current building would need repairs.
Paving roads and funds for the recreation department are priorities, they said.
Residents are encouraged to sign up for natural gas before road paving is done. Once a road is paved, it cannot be reopened for five years.