For the first time in a generation, Lambertville, N.J., residents last November voted in a new leader for their city’s government. Mayor Julia Fahl, who was involved with New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy’s campaign, has spoken of a “collective commitment” for the town.
As the mayor begins her first year of public service to Lambertville, the city’s various boards and commissions took stock of their 2018 accomplishments and 2019 goals.
“I want the operations of our governing body to better serve our community,” Fahl said in her State of the City address at the beginning of the year.
With that in mind, the Lambertville Municipal Utilities Authority held its reorganization meeting at its Lambert Lane extended headquarters Tuesday, Feb. 5.
In a statement to its sewer service customers, Executive Director Thomas F. Horn said the authority dipped into its reserve fund to complete the rehabilitation of the main pumping station on Swan Street. More than $600,000 was spent on upgrading the station’s pumps, controls, generator & HVAC.
“The station is a vital part of our collection system as it handles flows from Lambertville and Stockton before pumping them over to the treatment plant,” according to the statement.
This year, Horn said the authority started a “major capital improvement project” funded through the New Jersey Infrastructure Bank (NJIB).
The project includes collection system rehabilitation, replacing the treatment plant’s roof, the purchase of clarifier mechanisms, rehabilitation of the disinfection facilities, repaving of the plant and access road and repair of drain lines in the control building and belt filter press building.
According to Horn’s statement, an asset management plan is being considered to improve long-term budgeting. The plan would include “a comprehensive evaluation of all of the authority’s assets” and determine when an asset will need to be replaced.
To help pay for this plan, the authority has applied for an Asset Management Grant through the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection/ NJIB Grant Program.
The NJIB offers funding for small-system asset management that has 100 percent principal forgiveness and covers up to $100,000, according to Horn.
Horn said the authority and its board members will continue working to provide the best wastewater treatment for its customers “at an affordable cost by looking at ways to enhance our efficiency while maintaining a better quality of life.”
Efficiency is one aspect the mayor said she would like to improve. “The leap of faith this city took in electing me and embracing a new vision for this town is not lost on me,” Fahl said in her address.
Part of that effort, Fahl said, is to have regular mayor’s hours, open lines of communication between elected members, city employees, volunteers and “our citizenry.”
“I am coming into this position with solid ideas and a tenacious spirit,” Fahl said.