Byram could cut cost of municipal building

Newton /
| 18 Aug 2023 | 09:43

    Typically, when a project goes back to the drawing board, it’s to make improvements; unfortunately for Byram taxpayers, it appears this is not the case with their municipal/police building.

    The current proposal has gone from one building to two buildings, with the square footage increasing 2,717 feet.

    Is there a reason why a two-story building isn’t being looked at?

    It’s always been said, “It’s cheaper to go up than to go out.”

    In Byram’s case, there is half the foundation, roof and excavation costs with a two-story building.

    Is a single two-story building more efficient to heat and cool than two single-story buildings?

    In 2019, SCARC unveiled its newly built two-story 16,000-square-foot $2.7 million community center in Frankford. Why is Byram’s project three times that amount for comparable square footage? Does the committee want to lavish township employees with two of their own customized buildings at taxpayer expense?

    Byram should revisit the possibility of having Andover provide police coverage. Stillwater and Sussex disbanded their police departments years ago for State Police coverage.

    The fear tactics, such as response time being compromised and Byram residents being of a lesser concern to Andover by law enforcement, were shameful.

    Andover and Byram combined total 43.5 sqaure miles with a population of 13,847. Sparta is 39 square miles with a population of 18,650 and Vernon is 70 square miles with a population of 24,000.

    If these two large towns can provide police coverage with their own single departments, then Andover can easily provide unbiased coverage to Byram.

    New Jersey municipal law enforcement doesn’t want consolidation of police departments. If Andover and Byram were to merge, it would set a precedent for towns across the state.

    Law enforcement makes up the biggest single expenditure for most towns in New Jersey because of unnecessary overlapping of services. For each town to build and maintain a police department building adds to that cost.

    Byram should get coverage from Andover, saving on police cost by no longer funding upper-brass salaries and benefits and not needing to build and maintain an unnecessary building.

    Tris Tristam