Summit mulls $17 million for firehouse, police equipment

An $11.8 million dollar project to replace the existing firehouse with a new building would begin with architectual work in 2019 followed by construction in 2020.

SUMMIT, NJ — The city is considering more than $17 million in spending requests for capital projects in its 2019 budget, a 200-percent increase from 2018.

The original capital budget was projected at $5.5 million, but a new firehouse would raise that figure to more than $17.3 million, according to numbers presented at at a Dec. 12 council workshop meeting.

The city spent nearly $4 million on capital projects in the 2018 budget of $63.9 million.’

A majority of the fire department’s $12 million in capital requests relate to the proposed construction of the new headquarters building on Broad Street adjacent to the NJ Transit Parking Lot, according to fire Chief Eric Evers.
The $11.8 million project would begin its architectural design phase in 2019, and construction would commence the following year. It is anticipated to take 18 months to erect the structure.

Evers emphasized that his department equipment suffers from intense use, so $100,000 will go toward the replacement and repair of existing equipment.
The Summit Police Department is looking to install in-car video camera systems, and video and audio systems in interview rooms in 2019.

The $13,000 in-car video camera system project will provide an “unbiased account of events that allow citizens and others to view what actually occurred,” police Chief Robert Weck said during his presentation to the council.
An in-house system will help detectives focus on the interviews instead of acquiring and managing audio and video files, and detectives will be able to concentrate on their subjects instead of taking notes, Weck said.

The $33,000 project also would provide evidence to enable a jury to see how the suspect responded during the interview process.
The Summit Department of Community Services, which oversees city infrastructure, will continue its schedule of road projects, sidewalk improvements and traffic-calming activities in 2019.

About $2 million of its budget will go toward road repair, drainage, open space management, pedestrian safety, regulatory and warning sign replacement and traffic signal upgrades, a 26-percent decrease from 2018.

That department’s biggest projects would be $750,000 for work to Butler Parkway and an additional $600,000 for repairs to Caldwell, Clark, Dayton, Huntley and Willow streets.
The Summit Community Program’s top priority is construction on the center’s senior activity area and pocket park with $800,000 requested for a bocce court and other improvements.

The SCP’s second priority in the coming year is maintenance of the Summit Family Aquatic Center; both pools need resurfacing and other related mechanical improvements, as well as shade fabrics and slide-tower painting for a total of $600,000.
The cost of that project would be split between the next two years with $280,000 in 2019 and $320,000 in 2020.

Other projects include security systems for the community center, updating for the Memorial Field basketball courts and park furnishings.

With a budget of more than $300,000 for sewer utility, the DCS will use $177,000 for infrastructure for sewer lining, force main valve upgrades, sewer jet extension, and radio updates and conversions.