West Caldwell Governing Body Sept. 17 Meeting

Credits: Jeff Curley

WEST CALDWELL, NJ - Tuesday, the West Caldwell governing body met to reflect on the success of summer recreation programs and considered ideas for township for the upcoming year. Councilman Dominick Aiello was unable to attend the meeting due to an out of town business appointment. 

Public Safety  
Councilman Joseph Cecere
led off the evening’s discussion by introducing an ordinance which will amend the township’s “Firearms and Hunting” law in regards to the prohibition against feeding wild animals. The amendment is necessary because the upcoming fall township deer hunt requires baiting the deer with corn. A public hearing will be held on Tuesday, Oct. 15; the public is welcome to attend and address the council with their questions or concerns. 

Cecere also broached the idea of holding a “Swap Meet” in the spring when area children could exchange their lightly used items they have outgrown for someone else’s items. The councilman said the project would be headed by Environmental Commission Member James Haas.

Public Works and Water
The Public Works and Water Chair Rich Otterbein discussed two resolutions with the council and mayor. The first authorized a contract with Centralpack Engineering Corporation for the repair of the municipal building’s roof and HVAC system and the second awarded a $117,000 contract to Cali Carting, Inc. for leaf collection and disposal over the next three autumn seasons. 

In addition, Otterbein announced that the cleaning and repainting of two township watertanks would be tabled until next year.   

Councilman Stan Hladik announced that he had met with the Recreation Committee and that they had received positive comments from pool members who were happy for the extra week of pool days the week after Labor Day, before school started.

Hladik next reported that the committee discussed the idea of planting a permanent tree which would be used as the township’s Christmas Tree. They considered that a good spot for the tree could be alongside Crane Park, on the Bloomfield Avenue side, so that it would have “a lot of visibility.” The township’s menorah could be placed near the tree area as well. Hladik expressed that it would be beneficial for the town because, as it stands, each year a new tree is purchased and then disposed of.  

Mayor Joe Tempesta considered the idea of still decorating the civic center triangle area with an “electronic sign” but also expressed, “I like the idea of  a permanent tree - I like trees.”

The Recreation committee were pleased with the Summer Concert Series at the gazebo. “The concerts were very good, the bands hired were great,” said Hladik. “So we’re going to continue with that, we were even a few dollars under budget.”

Hladik also discussed the Recreation Department's need for a practice field, which would be used only during daylight hours after school, for the soccer or lacrosse teams. The committee is looking into the playing field near the firehouse for this spring and Tempesta agreed, “that park is under-utilized.” The mayor also stated that the Real Estate Committee continues to look into purchasing a field area in the township.

Lastly, the councilman reported that Caldwell College is interested in partnering with the township for the school’s lacrosse team to practice on. The mayor asked Township Administrator Adam Brewer, to contact the county and find out if there is any Open Space Funding available for going further with this concept.

Community Planning, Development and Technology
Council President Stephen Wolsky, chair of the Community Planning, Development and Technology committee, reported that Brewer would also be designated on Oct. 15 as the Municipal Housing Liaison for any affordable housing concerns with the township. The public is welcome at that meeting to discuss the appointment. 

Next Meeting
Following Wolsky’s remarks, the meeting was adjourned for a closed session discussion. The next meeting of the governing body will be on Tuesday, Oct. 1.

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