Brookdale Community College across the reservoir in Middletown Township is convenient to many Township residents and used as a resource for library service as well as educational courses.
During any given school year there are also students from the Township enrolled in private schools in grades K-8. In recent years these students have represented 18-20% of the total school-aged population. Of the twelve private schools which Colts Neck students attended, the vast majority have historically attended St. Leo The Great, Oak Hill, Ranney School, and Rumson Country Day.
The Colts Neck Township school district is comprised of two (2) schools and an administration building. The two (2) schools are based on a K-4 and 5-8 building/grade configuration. The Conover Road School currently serves grades K-4 and, according to the district's long-range facility plan (1990), has a functional capacity of 420 pupils. The Cedar Drive School currently serves grades 5-8 and has a functional capacity of 479 pupils (1990 long-range plan). The district's preschool handicapped program is also housed in the Cedar Drive School. After 8th grade, the children attend Marlboro High School as part of the Freehold Regional High School District. A traditional high school is under construction in Colts Neck and is projected to open in September 1998.
The location of the schools as well as other Township facilities is shown on Plate 7, Public Facilities.
Conover Road School Site
The Conover Road School (K-4) was built in 1969. It contains 21 standard classrooms, a music room, nurse's office, cafetorium/library, Principal's office, art room, gymnasium, teacher's room, resource room, and two (2) small group instructional areas for speech and basic skills. A portable facility located on the east side of the building was erected during the 1991-92 school year to accommodate the computer and gifted and talented programs. The total site is 51.8 acres with an estimated 85% being considered recreational area. The recreational part of the site includes three (3) tennis courts, three (3) ball fields, and a newly built playground area. There are approximately 44 individuals employed in the building: 38 instructional and support staff, 1 Principal, 1 secretary, 1 nurse and 3 custodians. The school enrollment as of March 1996 totaled 582 students. The projected peak enrollment at Conover is expected to be during the 1996-97 school year. While the condition of Conover Road School was considered good, the fact remained that the student enrollment was increasing, that there was a lack of available classroom space (420 student capacity) and that the core and specialized areas were undersized. Realizing that these facts had to be addressed, the Board of Education went out and sought voter approval to add and to expand/renovate the existing facility. On March 22, 1994 a building referendum was approved and the following will be the new instructional layout for the Conover Road School: 24 regular instructional classrooms, preschool handicapped classroom, computer lab, gifted and talented classroom, two (2) resource rooms (special education), music room, art room, gymnasium, library, cafetorium and five (5) small group instructional areas (i.e., speech, basic skills, instrumental music, physical and occupational therapy, etc.). The construction is projected to be completed by the Fall, 1996. Also on the Conover Road School site is the district's administration building. This facility was erected in 1991 and contains the offices of the Superintendent, the Business Office, transportation, the Child Study Team, the Director of Curriculum and Instruction, and the Board meeting room. The building was designed specifically to meet the district's administrative/business needs. The site contains an estimated 112 parking spaces.
Cedar Drive School Site
The Cedar Drive School (5-8) was constructed in 1965 with an addition in 1967. It currently contains 20 standard classrooms including a science lab, a gymnasium, a preschool handicapped classroom, two (2) music rooms (lab and keyboarding), and small group instructional areas (basic skills, resource rooms, etc.), Principal's office, teacher's room, nurse's office and guidance office. There are 45 individuals employed in the building: 1 Principal, 1 guidance counselor, 2 secretaries, 1 nurse, 2 preschool teachers, 34 instructional and support staff and 4 custodians. The school enrollment as of March 1996 totaled 409 students: 399 students in grades 5-8 and 10 preschool handicapped students. The student population will steadily increase at Cedar Drive School until it reaches its projected peak enrollment of over 640 students estimated to be during the 2000-2001 school year. In view of the enrollment projections (see Averbach, and Slachetka and Whitehall demographics studies) where the 479 functional capacity will soon be exceeded for the core facilities and educational program needs, the Board of Education went to the voters to seek their approval of a building program. On March 22, 1994 a building expansion and renovation referendum was voted on and approved by the citizens of the Township. By the Fall, 1996, the following will be the new instructional layout for the Cedar Drive School: 25 regular instructional classrooms, two (2) music rooms (enlarged and relocated), cafeteria (enlarged), library (enlarged and relocated), art room (relocated) and 5 small group instructional areas (i.e., resource rooms, basic skills, physical and occupational therapy areas, etc.) This building program should successfully meet the enrollment, and educational needs at Cedar Drive School with the exception of the gymnasium and cafeteria (see facilities part of report). The total site area at the Cedar Drive School is 15.2 acres with about twenty percent (20%) used for recreation. This consists of a baseball field, basketball and tennis courts, and a soccer field. There are also approximately 100 parking spaces to accommodate the school staff, parents and recreators.
Atlantic Elementary School Site
The Atlantic Elementary School site was sold by the Township's Board of Education to the Monmouth-Ocean Educational Services Commission in April, 1990. The name of the school was changed to the Meridian Academy and is an alternative school for emotionally disturbed students in Grades 1 through 12. The school serves handicapped students from all school systems in both Monmouth and Ocean counties. The school was constructed in 1922 with additions in 1953 and 1957. A new addition to the school is currently being planned. The site is 6.9 acres with an estimated 40% being available for recreation. It is estimated that there are 50 parking spaces provided at the school.
Until completion of the new high school in Colts Neck (ground breaking in August/September 1996 and opening in September 1998), Township students will continue to attend Marlboro High School which is part of the five high school system of the Freehold Regional High School District. The Marlboro High School was built in 1968 and renovated in 1983. It is on a site that is over 44 acres with more than two-thirds (2/3) devoted to recreational purposes. High school students may attend Learning Centers at other high schools for specialized programs. These are highly competative programs to which students must apply and be accepted.
The new high school is located on a site of 78 acres at the intersection of Route 537 and Five Points Road. It will have approximately 174,000 square feet of floor area and will initially accommodate 750 students. Its core facilities will support a future maximum student capacity of 1,300. Long-range expansion flexibility has been provided in the form of possible extensions to the school on three exterior sides.
The new high school has instructional areas for all of the "traditional" subject areas provided in the district's five high schools: applied technology, art, business, english, home economics, mathematics, media center, science, foreign language, physical education/health, and social studies. The school will have a total of 42 instructional areas including a media center, classrooms, small group areas, and various laboratories, including those for biology, chemistry, and physics. It will have athletic facilities for tennis, softball, baseball, soccer, field hockey, track and football. This new facility duplicates the current use of technology in the district's other five high schools and includes satellite communications, computers, laser disk players, CD-ROM, data services, and networking of media centers.
The entire school will be air-conditioned and will have a Backbone Distribution System including VVD (Voice/Video/Data) cabling linkages as well as conduits/trays to address current and future technological/communications advances. All core facilities including water, sewer, electrical and mechanical systems have been designed to accommodate the school's maximum student enrollment of 1,300 students achievable either through future additional construction or expansion of core and non-core facilities.
In order to better understand the population growth experienced in the community, the Board of Education commissioned three independent demographic studies. The first study was completed in November, 1992 by Dr. Emmanuel Averbach. The second study was completed by Mr. Stanley Slachetka in May, 1993. The last was completed by Whitehall Associates, Inc. in June 1996. Each study clearly shows that that the student enrollment will increase dramatically. Each successively later study projected a peak enrollment in a later year. The demographic data in these studies are subsequent to the 1990 Census, including enrollment, by class, by school. The basic conclusion in each study has been that the school-age population is going up and has not yet peaked. Whether this is the result of an increase in the number of younger families moving into the Township, or an increase in the birth rate, or some combination of the two; or whether it is part of a longer-term trend or a shorter-term phenomenon is not yet certain.
As the need for public services is largely driven by population, the assumption of population growth is a basic consideration. This analysis assumes a population of 10,000 residents through the year 2004.
The current staff of the Office of Administrator consists of one Administrator (who also serves as Clerk and Zoning Officer), one Deputy Clerk (who also serves as Tax Collector/Finance Officer), and Administrative Secretary. Assuming moderate population growth through 2004, the existing staff should be sufficient in this area. The possible exception would be that the Code and Zoning Enforcement responsibilities could be removed from the Township Administrator and the potential need for a part-time Clerk-Typist might be anticipated during the second five-year period of this study.
The Finance Department was staffed in 1994 by a full-time Finance Officer/Tax Collector, Deputy Tax Collector and Tax Clerk/Bookkeeper. The Tax Assessor is part-time and works one-and-one-half days per week.
The Finance Officer, Tax Collector, and Tax Assessor are statutory positions that must be filled by the Township. State certification is required.
With an increase in population from 8,559 (1990) to 10,000 (2004), as many as 500 new homes (or line items) can be expected to be added in the Township. This would represent 500 new property record cards, 500 new taxpayers, etc. It is likely one new full-time Clerk will need to be hired by 1999, and a second full-time Clerk by 2004 to properly administer the various duties of the Finance Departments. In addition, one additional day is expected to be added to the time worked by the Tax Assessor before 2004.
It is also expected that the Finance Officer/Tax Collector position will need to be separated into two distinct positions: one Finance Officer and one Tax Collector. The separation of these positions is consistent with the proper chain of command in most local governments throughout New Jersey.
The Code and Zoning Enforcement was performed by the Township Administrator in 1994. This job should be separated from the responsibilities of the Township Administrator. A part-time employee could perform this task working between 8-12 hours per week.
The Municipal Court serves as one of three branches of government within the Township. The Municipal Court is charged by State Statute and Court Rule with adjudicating all matters brought before the Court in a fair, impartial and expeditious manner. The Court is to discharge this duty with strict decorum, while recognizing apprehensions that individuals may have in appearing before a court. Any person who appears before the Court is to be treated with individual respect and be given the time and opportunity to be heard to voice his/her view as to the incident to which he/she may be charged. It is the goal of the Court to have all persons leave the Court with a feeling that they were treated fairly, no matter what the outcome may be.
With an increase in the case load of the court as the population expands, it is not expected that the physical size of the courtroom and Court Administrator's office will have to be expanded for the foreseeable future. If the case load becomes unmanageable for a single court session each week, the Court, after consultation and approval of the Township Committee, could add additional sessions throughout the year to insure prompt disposition of matters brought before the Court.
As to future personnel, the Administrative Office of the Courts recently made a study of the Township Municipal Court for the purpose of installing the automated traffic control system and criminal control system. The hardware for the updated computer system will be supplied by the office of the Court Administrator at no charge to the Township. The only cost to the Township will be additional computer desks; the hot wiring of the existing panic buttons in both the courtroom and violations bureau; and the installation of a ballistic shield underneath the inside of the Court bench. It is anticipated that, once the Township is on this computerized system, the necessity of additional Court personnel will be avoided for the foreseeable future. This will have to be reviewed each year as the case load increases into the year 2004.
Except for the Road Department, all municipal operations are located at the Town Hall Municipal Complex off Cedar Drive. The Road Department is located on Route 34 South, adjacent to N.W.S. Earle.
The essential problem is that existing office space is very limited and was not designed to maximize office efficiency. When meetings are in progress, or telephones being used, there is a lack of direct communication with secretaries or other departments. It is not expected, however, that any changes will be necessary to accommodate existing or enlarged staff during the study period for the upper level of Town Hall.
The lower level of Town Hall is generally a reconditioned basement that is utilized by the Building, Planning and Recreation Departments. The remainder of the lower level is used for a lunch room, storage, boiler room, and a vault. The lower level has minor problems with water seepage on the floor, smells from the boiler room, and generally overcrowded conditions. These problems, while manageable, are also not conducive to efficient office production.
While current office space within the lower level will be sufficient to 2004 provided archive space for record storage could be utilized in the basement of the Court and Police Building, longer term planning requires that consideration be given to constructing additional space. There are several options:
1. Construct a new library at the "Core Site." This would free the existing library to be converted for use by the Building, Planning and Recreation Departments.
2. Relocate the Recreation Department to the existing structure at Bucks Mill park (renovation would be required).
3. Construct an addition to Town Hall for certain Departments.
4. Purchase or condemn a house in the Township for conversion to office space. A logical place would be adjacent to the existing library.
Although there may also be other options, in terms of general management efficiency, centralized functions at the "Core Site" would be preferred.
The Police Department is a full-time department providing 24-hour service seven (7) days a week, 365 days a year to Township residents with limited services and mutual aid to Naval Weapons Station, Earle. Headquarters are located in the Municipal Complex. The department operates under Title 40A of N.J.S.A. and the Rules and Directives of the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office. The department seeks to deliver a feeling of security and safety to the community.
The Department's services include, but are not limited to: Emergency response to all police, fire and medical situations; investigation of incidents and enforcement of laws related to Township ordinances, county regulations, and state and federal laws; patrolling roadways and public property; providing security and traffic support for special Township events such as the Memorial Day Parade, Fourth of July Fireworks, Country Fair, the 10-K Run and Township Clean Up Day; participating in the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) program at the public schools and the Meridian Academy; coordinating community programs such as McGruff House, Neighborhood Watch, and Ident-A-Kid; serving as First Responders as an extension of the first aid squad with E.M.T. equipment in all police vehicles plus one semi-automatic external defibrillator; plus a variety of other services such as house checks, escorts, motor vehicle lock-out assistance, crime prevention surveys, church traffic posts, gate keeping for parks, and flag keeping at the Heyers Mmill Road grave site.
The Police Department in 1996 was staffed with sixteen (16) full-time sworn, law enforcement personnel consisting of the chief, three sergeants and twelve patrolmen. The staff is certified by the State Police Training Commission. One of the officers is a State Certified Paramedic, two are Certified EMTs, and thirteen are CPR course completed First Responders. Officers also attend various specialty training seminars and re-current certification courses throughout the year. The department is also staffed with three civilian employees, one full-time and two part-time.
The Department operates a day, evening and midnight shift, each with a sergeant and four patrolmen. As a result of normal days off, there is an average of three officers per shift. As a result of vacation, sick leave, compensatory time leave, training, special assignments, court, etc., the scheduled road patrol averages two officers per shift. This is the current minimum coverage per shift since fewer than two officers would result in inadequate coverage and reduced officer safety.
As the town continues to grow, so does the obligation to provide police services. A population increase to 10,000 residents will necessitate increasing the minimum squad members to one sergeant and five patrolmen, resulting in a net minimum coverage of three officers per shift. Also, the police department must consider constantly changing county, state and federal regulations that govern operating procedures. The future increase in staff should consider a full-time detective, a full-time D.A.R.E. and Juvenile officer, and additional superior officers.
The Police Department has responded to an average of 10-18 calls a day since 1990.
|First Aid Calls||280||234||249||325||234||264|
|1986 - 390||1989 - 430||1992 - 425||1995 - 595|
|1987 - 411||1990 - 474||1993 - 520|
|1988 - 470||1991 - 400||1994 - 512|
In the first quarter of 1996, the First Aid Squad operated two 1990 Ford ambulances and one 1987 Ford rescue vehicle. The First Aid Squad does not require that the Township purchase this equipment. Each vehicle has an approximate replacement value of $100,000 to $130,000. The Squad provides a line item in its annual budget of $25,000 for "Rig Capital Contribution." If all of the conditions remain the same, the Squad should be able to replace its equipment on schedule.
As for other equipment, the Squad has a variety of first aid equipment such as stretchers, various first aid kits, oxygen, splints, defibrillation, and miscellaneous blankets, protective gloves and gowns, wheel chair, stair chair, crutches and walkers. It also has rescue equipment such as four types of extinguishers and a variety of tools such as hydraulic powered extrication equipment, bar, axes, come along, jacks, generator, flood lights, helmets, turnout coats, rope, cable cutters, and air powered cutting tools.
The Public Works Department provides full services for Township roads, public property, parks and recreation areas, Township events, and the collection and disposal of such natural items as leaves and brush.
The Department in 1996 was staffed by 14 full-time, unionized employees, one secretary, one Superintendent, and four to six temporary summer helpers. Of the 14 employees, there were four laborers, three truck drivers, two heavy equipment operators, and one foreman, light equipment operator, senior mechanic, mechanic, and mechanic helper. Although the majority of the work force are cross-trained in other areas, they primarily work within their job description.
Among its responsibilities, the Department currently maintains about 100-lane miles of public roads by making minor repairs, facilitating property drainage, manufacturing and maintaining proper signage, keeping vegetation pruned on Township rights-of-way, plowing and sanding all Township roads (using private contractors on an as-needed basis), and sweeping streets and mowing grass in rights-of-way on a regular basis.
The Department also provides public property maintenance at Town Hall, the Police Department, Court House, Library, Fair Building, DPW Garage, Laird Road storage facility, the block building storage facility, and the Pavilion at Bucks Mill Park.
There are ten parks and greenways containing over 1,000 acres maintained by the Department. The parks include eleven baseball fields, five soccer fields, a running track, broad jump pit, nature trails at Bucks Mill Park, Big Brook, and Freer Park, exercise tracks at the Core Site, playground equipment, nine tennis courts, and two basketball courts. Other services are provided for special events such as Memorial Day, Fourth of July celebration, the Colts Neck Fair, 10K run, and summer programs.
The Department provides residents with brush, leaf and curbside trash collection during Cleanup Day. Brush collection is continuous from May through October. Leaves are collected curbside from October through December. The annual Township cleanup recycles residents' trash.
The Department maintains twenty-four registered motor vehicles that include Police cars, recreational vehicles, and Township trucks. These include 2 car/utility vehicles, 3 pick-up trucks, 2 light duty dump trucks, 6 medium duty dump trucks equipped with plows and sanders, 1 heavy tractor with plow, 2 brush chippers, 4 mowing tractors, 1 utility tractor, 3 leaf collectors, 1 backhoe, 1 bucket truck, and 1 street sweeper. There are an additional twenty motorized hand tools including mowers and chain saws
Although regular maintenance is performed on all vehicles, an equipment replacement program needs to be established. This would enable the Township to project future budgets regarding equipment replacement as well as eliminate investing time and money in old equipment that is no longer cost effective to maintain or operate. Light duty trucks such as pick-ups and small dump trucks should be replaced every ten to twelve years. Medium duty trucks should be replaced between twelve and fifteen years.
Pickup trucks and light duty dump trucks are used for daily, routine maintenance such as transportation, pulling mowing trailers, patching pot holes, etc. because they are user friendly and are more economical to operate than the larger dump trucks. During snow removal, the light duty trucks are equipped with small plows to plow parking lots at the Fire Houses, First Aid building, police department, and Town Hall. The larger trucks are equipeed with 11-foot plows and sanders to plow and sand the streets. The larger trucks are also used to pull the chipper, leaf machines, haul road materials, etc.
The Public Works facilities are located on 39 acres of land east of Highway 34 between Route 18 and N.W.S. Earle. Colts Neck has a noncontractual agreement with N.W.S. Earle for an additional four acres of land to park school buses, house two Board of Education storage trailers, stockpile road material, park additional vehicles, and locate a salt storage building.
The most recent acquisition was inIn 1995 and, enlarged the site to its current size in order to provide additional space Colts Neck acquired additional property at the current facility to accommodate expansion to erect a 2000 ton salt storage building and to provide an area to process brush, compost leaves, and recycle when the need arises. Approximately four acres adjacent to the garage area have already been cleared for these projects and the remaining land will be left for conservation at this time.
In 1995, Colts Neck also entered into an agreement with Bell Atlantic Nynex to rent a western portion of the property (100 ft by 100 ft) to erect a cellular tower that was constructed in 1996. The revenues received from Bell Atlantic will be used to defray the acquisition cost of newly purchased land.
The Department will continue to evaluate ways to improve its activities. For example, brush collection (12% of the Department's activities) is continuous between May and October, is labor intensive, and dangerous to workers. In 1993 over 8,700 tons of brush were collected involving almost 4,400 man hours. Changes involving a claw attachment for the front end loader would substantially cut work hours. Brush collection could also be changed from an unlimited schedule to one that is more structured to maximize labor savings.
In addition, grass cutting (6% of the Department's activities) would be improved if the current mowers were replaced with wider mower decks. An estimated 50% savings in worker hours is as estimated. In 1993, for example, more than 2,300 man hours were spent on mowing.
In general, with increasing responsibilities, the objective is to acquire more efficient equipment as machines are replaced, or new equipment is purchased, so some operations become less labor intensive.
The need also exists for an intensive investigation and evaluation of the potential savings and/or increase in services by privatization of such activities as mowing and brush collection. The use of equipment jointly with other communities coupled with bulk purchasing are examples of what should be researched to determine if there would be significant benefits.
Currently, property maintenance is carried out by various agencies including Public Works, Schools, Recreation Committee, Sports Foundation, Shade Tree Commission, Clean Communities Committee and the Fair Committee. The need exists for these groups to coordinate with one another to insure that maximum use is made of the staffing, grounds, and moneys involved.
The library's goal is to continue to supply the community with reference, resource, and reading materials. Because of an anticipated increase in population, ways must be found to alleviate the already overcrowded conditions in the library. The limited space has hampered operations. For example, Infotrac, a system used to find articles in periodicals, commonly found in other libraries, is nonexistent in Colts Neck.
Moreover, the nature of the library prohibits compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. This should be addressed. For example, bathroom facilities are in the basement with no elevator access and the access ramp is inadequate. The library is essentially unusable by the handicapped. It also may be noted that the library presently caters to young children and older adults. The high school and college-age young adults find their way to Eastern Branch in Shrewsbury, or Headquarters in Manalapan.
Colts Neck Library service is provided by the Monmouth County Library. The Atlantic Grange sold their building to the Township for use as a library. After it was renovated and furnished, the library opened June 14, 1982 at which time the county bookmobile service was discontinued.
Although the library is small, and other branches of the county library system are available in surrounding communities (Manalapan, Shrewsbury, Marlboro, Holmdel and Howell), use of the Colts Neck Branch has risen significantly during its 12 years of operation. Circulation after its first year of operation was 41,567 and it reached an all time high in 1991 with over 77,000. A total of over 5,000 patrons were registered in 1994. The collection has grown to over 16,000 volumes owned by the library as well as a large number of volumes borrowed from the county's extension collection service. Approximately 3,000 volumes belong to the Catherine "Kitty" Henning Cookbook collection, believed to be the largest in the state. This collection was donated by the late Mrs. Henning's estate so that the total now exceeds 4,000. The library also subscribes to over 80 magazines and three daily newspapers. The collection is aimed primarily at meeting the community's requirements for pleasure reading and school assignments.
The staff consists of one full-time librarian, one full-time and one part-time library assistant, a children's librarian, and two student pages. Staffing is presently adequate. Should the children's area be expanded with building enlargement as noted below, a children's librarian for three days a week with more programs and reading clubs for a larger population would be necessary. The children's librarian is now on duty 24 hours a week and offers: three pre-school story times a week; other story times; and crafts and film programs for both preschool and students ages K-4th grade. The programs for all children have been very popular over the years.
For adults the library offers 10-20 programs a year including lectures, book discussion, cookery and crafts. A program also exists given by the librarian where each first grader in Colts Neck visits the library, has a tour, and obtains a library card.
The Monmouth County Library is part of Region V of the statewide network. Participation in the state system provides access to the resources of Princeton University, Rutgers University, Newark Public Library, and other state libraries. While this access provides the added dimension of offering full library services, the Monmouth County System also offers a variety of programs and resources including concerts, lectures, films, and children's story hours.
With respect to children's activities, the county library system offered over 3,000 programs in 1994 alone, including class visits, story times, films, vacation reading club programs, puppet shows, and crafts. A new county library headquarters opened in Manalapan in 1987. It was the largest in the state, offering meeting rooms, a concert hall and extensive research facilities. Expansion plans for the building were announced in early 1996. The system also offers extension services which filled over 80,000 patron request system-wide in 1993. The circulation system and public catalog are automated and the Manalapan and Shrewsbury libraries are provided with on-line searching capabilities (via DIALOG) and fax machines. Films, both 16 mm and video, are available through the library system, and books on cassette are a popular addition to the collection, as are compact discs. All in all, the library system and its use by patrons from Colts Neck and other communities is continually expanding.
In looking to the future, changes to improve conditions include:
The Department of Recreation and Parks has responsibility for the provision of recreation programs and services, Township-wide special events, management of the Township's ten parks, preserves and recreation areas, and coordination of other related recreation and park services.
Plate 8, Open Space and Recreation Areas, shows the locations of various facilities throughout the Township.
In 1995, the department was staffed by a full year, part-time director and part-time secretary/treasurer. The Department operates a year-round program of recreation and park services and in 1995 employed 76 paid staff members who were assisted by 34 volunteers in selected programs. In addition to the Department staff, there is also the Colts Neck Recreation Advisory Committee. These eight volunteers are appointed by the Township Committee for the purpose of advising and implementing improvements to existing services as well as recommending new types of recreation programs and facilities which should be offered to Township residents.
The existing types of recreation activities consist of over sixty-five separate programs, sports leagues and special events which are conducted throughout the year. Such offerings include health and fitness programs, arts and crafts workshops for young and old, gymnastics, dance and sports programs classes for children, men's basketball, co-ed volleyball, tennis clinic, bridge classes, and an extensive summer day camp for grades K-8. Special activities include a fishing derby, Memorial Day Parade, and Halloween and Easter events. Of the 65 functions, 45 have activities that are conducted at many Township recreation, park, and school sites.
The Township maintained ten official park and open space facilities in 1995 in addition to the various greenways located around residential neighborhoods. These ten areas are identified as either parks, recreation areas, or preserves, with each offering either an exclusive or a variety of active and/or passive recreation opportunities. Plate 8, Open Space and Recreation Areas, identifies the properties used for various open space and recreation functions. The inventory of public open space maintained by the Township exceeds 1,000 acres. Basically, the green acres parcels, school sites, dedicated green ways from cluster zoning designs, the reservoir, and numerous drainage corridors reflect a coordinated pattern of land preservation incorporating environmentally sensitive areas as well as parcels usable for active recreational pursuits, if and when the demand is generated. A continuation of past acquisition and subdivision design policies isare designed to complete a recreation and environmental preservation program. The development of neighborhood parks as well as a community center are envisioned for the future. At present, there are no Township-owned indoor facilities and no community center, although activities take place in the two schools, Township Hall, the Colts Neck Reformed Church, and local fire stations. In 1995, Township parks offered 9 baseball/softball fields, 8 tennis courts, 6 soccer fields, 1 polo field, and 1 field for "special eventsÓ.
Dorbrook Park totals 510 acres and is part of the Monmouth County Park system. It is located on both sides of Route 537 in the east part of the Township. This park has an indoor activity center plus an open shelter as well as a small pool limited to program use only. There are fields for model airplane flying, 4 tennis courts, 4 horseshoe courts, 2 fields for flag football in the fall and softball in the spring, then one field each for rugby, softball, regulation soccer, youth-sized soccer, and field hockey/lacrosse. The County also operates the 183 acre, regulation sized, 18-hole, Hominy Hill Golf course.
In general, the implementation of the Township's Recreation Plan prepared in 1973 and updated in 1982 has progressed significantly. Based upon a survey conducted as part of the 1982 Recreation and Park Master Plan, new program offerings were scheduled over the ten year period. There was a 95% success rate with the offerings of such programs. During the period from 1982 to 1995, the Township has gone through a number of changes. Based upon observation and changing demographic profiles, there is need to update the 1982 Recreation and Park Master Plan.
There have been a number of additions, improvements and replacements made to the Township parks, preserves and recreation areas between 1982 and 1995. Repairs and renovations to basketball, softball and soccer fields, tennis court centers, park and picnic areas, fitness courses, trails, playground equipment and basketball courts have been conducted. In addition, three new softball/baseball fields, a new basketball court center and a state-of-the-art adventure playground have been constructed within the Township. Much of this renovation and new construction was the result of priority items indicated by residents in the 1982 Recreation and Park Master Plan, and funded through capital expenditure on an annual basis through 1991. The result has been a major increase in park usage, with formalized permits for park and athletic field activity at an all time high.
Recent demographic data indicates the Township's population through 1993 remained somewhat constant since the 1982 Recreation and Park Master Plan was prepared. However, tThe age groupschanges within the population haves changed, however, to some degree. For example, about 16 1/2% of the population is in elementary or high schools and about 7 1/2% are senior citizens. A number of existing recreation and park services are directed specifically toward these markets. There are also various recreational needs for employed persons, many of whom have changing hours of availability to participate in recreational programs due to flexible hours, changing commuting times, etc.
A major part of the Department's services should include coordination with other organizations who have a responsibility for the preservation, maintenance and development of the rare, unique, historic and natural resources of the Township. These would include the Environmental Commission, Historical Society, and Shade Tree Commission. There is also opportunity for the sharing of programs and maintenance with other municipalities and Monmouth County. This type of partnership agreement has been conducted to some degree with Marlboro Township (recreation programs), while the Monmouth County Park System has constructed Colts Neck park signs on a limited basis.
The Township's farming and agricultural characteristics also add opportunities to develop an area at the Bucks Mill Recreation Area for historic farm equipment from Colts Neck's farming industry, sponsoring of the Colts Neck Trail Riders Club in support of recreational horsemanship, and continuing the recent establishment of a polo program, all as initial steps in this process.
In order for the Department's levels of services to continue, the 1982 Recreation and Park Master Plan needs to be updated and new research efforts need to be conducted in order to properly plan for the future.
In accordance with the State Mandatory Service Separation and Recycling Act of 1987 & 40:55D-28(12), the Colts Neck Plan is coordinated through the Township Committee, the Township Administrator (specifically named as Recycling Coordinator) and volunteers. The controlling ordinance distinguishes between recyclable materials and garbage (other solid waste) and provides a program for twice monthly residential curbside pick-up of recyclable materials of glass bottles and jars, aluminum cans, tin and bimetal cans, high density polyethylene and polyethylene terephalate (types 1 and 2 plastics) containers, newspapers, and mixed paper (including phone books).
Single family home collection is made curbside in the same manner as regular garbage. For commercial properties, specific areas are delineated to accommodate the separated recyclables and collection vehicles. The ordinance requires that licensed haulers be used that may, or may not, be the contractors that collect garbage. Revenues, if any, generated by the program should be used to defray expenses the program creates.
The licensing of private haulers considers how the material is collected, collection schedules, sorting methods, transport methods and sale and/or marketing disposition of collected materials. Tonnages of recycled items are to be reported to the Township Recycling Coordinator as and when marketed.
The ordinance also provides for the proper disposition of recyclables generated by contractor construction, demolition, paving, land clearance, etc. Service stations, oil retailers and re-inspection stations with used oil holding tanks are required to post a sign that designates them as a used oil collection site, accepting up to five gallons of used oil at a time from individuals changing oil in cars, tractors, mowers, etc.
A recycling drop-off center has been provided at the Township garage site (south of Route 18, east of Route 34) which receives the same recyclables as are picked up curbside, plus corrugated cardboard, and dry cell batteries. Dry cell batteries are also collected at six business and Township locations. It is suggested that improved signage and access to this drop-off center might encourage greater participation in this aspect of the recycling program.
The Township Public Works Department provides curbside leaf pick-up and brush chipping. These organics are recycled as mulch and ground cover within the Township.
The Township annually provides a "clean up" day for residents at which time the Township recycles bulk items not otherwise collected such as auto batteries, tires and metal items of many descriptions (iron, steel, aluminum, copper, etc.).
The Township has reached an agreement with N.W.S. Earle to submit recycling tonnages generated on the base within Colts Neck boundaries on quarterly reports to the County and on annual Tonnage Grant Reports to the State.
The recycling program is publicized at least twice annually in a recycling newsletter issued by the Township Committee. Other references are made in Township Committee reports and local newspapers.
The Township continually investigates ways to increase recyclable tonnage to divert this material from the solid waste stream. These include:
Refuse collection and disposal service is provided by private haulersscavengers. Three major collectors operate in the county, with two serving Colts Neck: Atlantic Sanitation Service and M & S Disposal. There are also nine industrial and commercial haulers operating in the county.
The contract for service is arranged individually. The typical residential service includes curb side collection twice a week. Recyclable materials are separated by the homeowners. Non-residential collection is an individual contract with the cost for services varying with the quantity of waste generated and the frequency of collection desired.
The collection of bulky waste is also arranged on an individual basis. There is no landfill operation in Colts Neck nor is there any re-cycling center. All material is deposited in the Monmouth County Reclamation Center in Tinton Falls as a result of the closing of the Lone Pine and Shrewsbury Disposal Co. facilities several years ago.
There is no water service in Colts Neck except for the water main in Swimming River Road along the Township's eastern boundary, the service provided from Freehold Township for the Township's higher density development adjacent to Freehold Township, and the facilities within N.W.S. Earle. The absence of a water distribution system has resulted in the need for water-carrying fire equipment, making provisions for fire equipment access to streams, ponds and pools, and consideration of constructing standpipes in ponds and streams. This situation is not expected to change substantially in the long-run.
The major supplier of water in the area is New Jersey American Water Company. Their major source of water supply in this area is the Swimming River Reservoir and the treatment plant at the eastern end of Colts Neck near Swimming River Road. The reservoir has an estimated 2.6 billion gallon capacity which collects water from a 48 square mile drainage area, including all but the southeastern corner of the Township. The New Jersey American Water Company system serves 23 municipalities serving the northeastern portion of Monmouth County (Middletown and the southern portion of Holmdel) south to the southern end of Tinton Falls, Neptune, Neptune City and Bradley Beach. The only exceptions are Red Bank, Allenhurst, Atlantic Highlands, and Highlands. Finished water production is in excess of 10.7 billion gallons a year. Except for the developer providing water service to the higher density housing noted above, extensions of water service into Colts Neck are not expected due to the larger lots in the area that have wells and septic systems, the agriculturale areas that are expected to be preserved, and the corresponding policy established by the Supreme Court in its Mt. Laurel II decision of discouraging growth and the wasteful extension of infrastructure beyond the "growth areas" designated in the State Development and Redevelopment Plan.
Sewage treatment in Colts Neck is predominantly by on-lot septic systems. Only three treatment plants exist. One is the N.W.S. Earle facility which discharges into the upper reaches of Hockhockson Brook near Route 34. The second serves the Colts Neck Inn in the village. The third is the public sewer service to the higher density, affordable housing development abutting Freehold Township. The future high school is planned for an on-site "CycletÓ system. Because of the soil conditions throughout the Township, residential and non-residential lots of sufficient size for on-site wells and septic systems must be anticipated. Because virtually all the developable portions of Colts Neck drain into the Swimming River Reservoir, proper sewage treatment in any of the contributing areas is also essential. Only a portion of the eastern end of Colts Neck, and generally south of Route 537, drains away from the reservoir and this area drains into sensitive trout-maintenance waters.