Ogdensburg Bond Ordinances Passed To Upgrade Water System And For 'Streetscapes' Project

Borough Clerk Phyllis Drouin, Councilmen Robert McGuire and William Amodeo, Mayor Steve Ciasullo, and Councilman Peter Opilla Credits: Jennifer Murphy

OGDENSBURG, NJ – The borough council passed a bond ordinance yesterday night for $106,000, to undertake improvements to the water system. The money will be used to purchase and install new water meters, a radio frequency pick-up gun and software, as well as to install four new fire hydrants.

The new system will allow DPW workers to drive through the streets of town, and read the water meters simply by aiming towards the house. This will reduce the amount of time and labor to less than one day to read all the meters in town. The information will then be handled electronically to produce accurate water bills for the residents.

The current system relies on residents to read their own meters, and send in the reading on a postcard to the town each quarter, or for borough employees to knock on doors to obtain readings. 

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A separate bond ordinance was passed for $785,000 to authorize the making of public improvements. 

“$450K is for the Main Street Streetscapes Project. Of that, $200K is set aside for the state grant we received to put in sidewalks. We need to have the money appropriated, then the state reimburses us,” said councilman Robert McGuire.

The Streetscapes project will include sidewalks, benches, and possibly lighting. According to Mayor Steve Ciasullo, the exact length of the sidewalks is not yet known, but it is roughly from the school to the firehouse.

The remainder of the bond money will go towards resurfacing a large majority of roads in Ogdensburg.

The council introduced an ordinance to repeal section 2-14 of the revised general ordinances. This section stipulates consideration be given first to Ogdensburg residents, then Sussex County residents, then counties contiguous to Sussex, then to residents of New Jersey, when hiring employees of the borough.

According to the written draft of the ordinance, “The Mayor and Council of the Borough of Ogdensburg conclude that Ordinance 2-14 no longer serves the useful purpose of guaranteeing that the best candidate is appointed to an open position with the Borough.”

A resolution was passed that a curfew is imposed for all individuals under the age of 18 from Thursday, October 25, 2012, up to and including Thursday, November 1, 2012.

Another ordinance was introduced, to amend the salaries of the police officers.  Since a new contract was recently signed, this ordinance will allow the contract to be fulfilled. It will raise the upper range of the pay scale.

Final passage of both ordinances will be considered after public hearing at a regular borough council meeting on November 12 at 7:00pm at the Municipal Building.

In other business:

  • Matthew W. Washer was appointed to the New Jersey State Fireman’s Association.
  • The Ogdensburg Historical Society (OHS) will hold a scrap metal drive on Saturday, November 3, at the DPW building on Brooks Flat Road. George’s Salvage in Newton is helping out by donating the dumpster and paying for the scrap. They are looking for items with iron, brass, copper, tin, and aluminum. They cannot take anything with fluids, gas or propane tanks.  They can take old storm windows, pots, pans, broken garden tools, fans, lawn furniture, stoves, washers and dryers.
  • Jean Castimore, President of the OHS announced there is a correction to what was printed in the paper. The society will be using the money to make needed corrections in and around the Museum, not for the Centennial celebration.  "Another correction is that this event is not a joint venture with the borough," added Mayor Ciasullo.
  • Ogdensburg will be renewing a three-year contract with Sparta for shared services for local radio police communications. 
  • The sports equipment swap event was deemed successful.  At the mayor’s suggestion, residents were invited to bring unneeded, no longer used equipment to donate, and to help themselves to what they needed. Some remaining items include: skis, bats and cleats. The event will be repeated in the early spring.
  • The contents of the demolished Edison House were put up for silent auction, which netted $155.00. This money will go towards the Centennial celebration of 2014.  The remaining items will be offered to antique shops and go to the highest bidder.
  • The Borough is in the process of planning its Christmas party.  They have booked the Firehouse for the December 7 event.  McGuire reported that the Fire Department was asking if they will be using catering services, since they did not do so last year.  McGuire will obtain the notes of last year’s party, and discuss with the fire department what type of food and at what price. Last year, they used Villa Capri, at a cost of slightly more than $400.
  • Just before the open public session, Ciasullo commented on the platform of Democratic candidate Michael Blahut, who is running for a seat on the council. He said, “At the ‘Meet the Candidates’ Night (click here for the article by The Alternative Press), Blahut made some statements which are false. He mentioned a re-evaluation of the town. The truth is, lowering the value of your home and not lowering the budget actually makes the taxes go up. Plus, we haven’t even finished paying for the first re-eval. [Blahut] made a comment that the ‘sidewalk grant he tried to get is finally coming through.’ The sidewalk grant when he was here died a slow death, and has nothing to do with the current sidewalk grant. He was completely inaccurate on both points.”
  • In the public session, Castimore asked, “When are you planning to hold the first meeting for the 100th anniversary of the Borough?” The council agreed to add this to the agenda of the next meeting. They discussed having members from the historical society, the fire department, the school, the churches, the boy scouts, and local businesses on the committee. Ciasullo said between 12 to 13 people would be a good number, and that there may be sub-committees for parades and fireworks, if such events were desired. The historical society offered to lend a hand with the fund raisers.
  • The Alternative Press asked for an update about the new signs, offered to the Borough by the Sterling Hill Mining Museum, during the public session. Mayor Ciasullo reported that things are moving along, that Robert Hauck, from the mine, has submitted some artwork, and will draw up additional samples. Ciasullo asked the council to consider whether to involve the school children in the process. (Click here for previous story by The Alternative Press).
  • The Alternative Press also asked for an update to the Heater’s Pond weed removal project. The borough has obtained a permit to lower the water level of the pond over the winter. If the weather cooperates, this should freeze out some of the roots.  

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