MORRISTOWN – Village officials were taken by surprise after the Morristown Board of Education expressed concerns over plans to build a village garage near the school.
The village currently operates a garage by the school, and plans are being developed to build a new, larger garage on the corner of Northumberland and Gouverneur streets in an empty lot roughly 50 feet away from the old location.
Village Superintendent of Public Works Kevin J. Crosby said engineering plans have been drawn up, but the village has not determined whether it will be able to fund the project this summer.
The board of education proposed trading land with the village in order to come to a suitable arrangement. School board members said at their meeting Tuesday that the new location is too close to classrooms and would cause too much disruption and a potential safety hazard for students.
In order to avoid having a new garage built on the vacant lot directly next to the school, the board of education proposed giving the village a larger space behind the school, near the intersection of Columbia and High streets.
But Mr. Crosby said that plot would pose significant problems for the village.
Because there are not sewer or water lines connected to that plot, Mr. Crosby estimates it would cost $50,000 just to prepare the site for development.
The most expensive aspect, Mr. Crosby said, is the bedrock that would have to be blasted out if any lines were installed.
Mr. Crosby said he doesnt believe a new garage would pose any threat to students safety.
The village already operates a garage in essentially the same area, Mr. Crosby said, and there would not be an increase in traffic. A new garage is needed to provide better storage for equipment the village already owns.
If there was a big problem [with safety] the [village board] wouldnt want to put it there, Mr. Crosby said.
Mayor Cheryl A. Shatraw could not be reached for comment Thursday.
Superintendent David J. Glover said Tuesday that the village and the school board will meet soon to discuss the issue.