Over the last year, the Newton Township Board of Supervisors have been reviewing the long term strategic plan for the township. In reviewing the plan, the supervisors identified two issues that need to be addressed in 2023 –
1. The need for a new Department of Public Works (DPW) maintenance garage
2. The potential sale of the Newton Recreation Center
At the beginning of 2022, the supervisor began to have serious discussions about the future of the recreation center, including the potential sale of the property. Chairman Pallman asked to take the lead on the review of the operation, potential reorganization of a volunteer board and renegotiations of leases. Also, the board went ahead and paid off the balance on a loan which had been taken out for a major boiler and roof project. As of today, the center does not have any outstanding debt and currently is able to operate on its own. However, the center currently has no volunteer board, nor does it have any volunteers willing to help run the center. Our most recent paid rec center coordinator has resigned leaving the center without any day to day leadership supervision. Fortunately, we have some long term staff members who are still working part time to allow for the center to be open for parties that were already reserved. But, after the month of January, we will be forced to close the center to the public due to a lack of staff. Also, we are only one major repair away from the center costing the taxpayers money. So, what does this all mean? The township board of supervisors at this point are in agreement that the recreation center located on Newton Ransom Boulevard should be sold. But, before the supervisors move forward with the sale of the property, a special meeting will be held Monday January30th. The supervisors are asking township residents who have questions or concerns about the potential sale of the center to please attend the meeting.
As for our DPW and the need for a maintenance garage, this has become a serious topic. Our DPW currently works out of a converted farm building which has served its purpose but it is time for the township to focus its financial resources on the needs of DPW. The continued growth of our township has brought additional work to the DPW staff. At one time, the DPW was made up of 2 fulltime employees. At the start of 2023, we now employ 4 fulltime employees with additional part time workers filling in during the winter and summer months. Our roads and drainage is a main priority of the township and with this additional work our staff is in need of a proper Garage to perform these duties. We will begin to design and put out to bid a new DPW garage for 2023. This is a must.
With these two potential topics at the forefront of 2023, the supervisors believe that the potential sale of one property and the construction of a new garage on an existing property could work hand in hand to minimize the financial burden on the township and the taxpayers. This is why we are discussing both of these topics together as one.
So, the supervisors are asking that any resident that is interested in discussing the sale of the rec center, join us on Monday January 30 at 6:00 p.m. at the Newton Township Building.