The Maplewood Township Committee will vote Tuesday night on a resolution to purchase a new generator for DeHart Center, according to Township Administrator Joseph Manning.
The generator, a Caterpillar Emergency Generator described in resolution 27-13 (part three of the agenda attached as a PDF to this article), will cost $37,877 to purchase. Installation and maintenance are not included in that figure. The township will purchase the generator as part of the National Joint Power Alliance (NJPA), of which it is a member.
The township has been discussing the addition of a generator to the , since Hurricane Irene.
In addition, Manning said, he is in the process of getting quotes for the purchase of two additional generators, one for the Maplewood Municipal Building (Town Hall) and another for the Maplewood Memorial Library.
After dealing with townwide prolonged power outages from Superstorm Sandy, Manning said, the township realized it needed a generator to maintain full functionality at town hall during emergencies.
"Based on our information, the spot near the Maplewood Community Garden (in the back of town hall) is the best location" for the generator, said Manning, because it is close to the building but not on the grounds of the historic structure, and it is next to the parking lot and near the building's power source.
The township gave the MCG use of an area of land behind town hall in 2010. Shortly before Sandy struck, the township granted the club the use of an additional strip of land adjacent to the current garden, and club members had begun to clear the land in preparation for planting.
"We all love the Maplewood Community Garden," said Manning. "We feel bad, but we have to move forward with our emergency priorities." He said the township would reimburse the MCG for any expenses they had already incurred.
Manning explained the need for a generator at town hall. "This is the center of government, the place we collect taxes, issue licenses etc. No other building (in town) has this setup, so we don't have an alternative site," he said.
In addition, he said, many residents relied on town hall in Sandy's aftermath as a place to warm up and recharge devices, as well as to "get some normalcy."
As for the library, huge numbers of residents relied on it as a refuge as well after the storm.
Also on Tuesday night's agenda is an introduction of an ordinance to continue the chicken raising program and vote on a resolution to allow the sale of beer and wine for the second year in a row at Maplewoodstock.
The meeting is at town hall at 7:30 p.m. The agenda's other two parts are also attached to this article as PDF's.