BERNARDS TWP., NJ _ The communications task force, one of the task forces appointed by Township Mayor Carol Bianchi at the beginning of this year, is due to present its final report and public recommendations at Tuesday's scheduled's Township Committee meeting.

The agenda for the meeting, scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. on Nov. 26 in the main meeting room at Bernards Town Hall, is posted online.

Earlier this year, the task force conducted a survey among residents about how they would like to receive communications from the township. Afterward, the task force appeared before the Township Committee with input from residents on such issues as their preferences for receiving emergency notifications from the township.

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The task force was one of four advisory groups appointed by Bianchi when she was appointed as mayor at the beginning of 2019. The task forces, made up of members of the public and officials, have been presenting their findings as the end of the year approaches.

One of the task forces, looking at the future of the Millington Quarry, was challenged in court by the quarry owners on the basis that planning for the quarry's future was to be the responsibility of a Quarry Oversight Committee that had been part of a 2014 court agreement. The Quarry Oversight Committee was revived, and Kevin Orr, former Planning Board member through many of the quarry reclamation hearings, was appointed in May as a member of the Quarry Oversight Committee,

Vape shop ban up for final vote

The Township Committee is also due to take a final vote on an ordinance that would make smoke shops and vape shops expressly prohibited as uses in all zones within the township. Officials said previously that the ordinance would not prohibit other businesses already in town from selling such products in the township.

The ordinance was introduced at the Oct. 29 Township Committee meeting.

Township officials raised the subject in the wake of national reports of the health hazards of vaping. "It's a problem for our kids," Township Committeewoman Joan Harris said earlier this fall. "Kids in middle school and the high school are vaping."

Bianchi observed then that, "We can't stop kids from getting [vaping products], but we can have laws in place. That's the best we can do."

Township Committeeman John Carpenter added that while vaping remains legal, the township does not want a vape shop opening and hanging up its sign in business areas. 

Also on the agenda, the Township Committee is set to take a final vote of an ordinance to lower the speed limit from 35 to 25 m.p.h. along Somerville Road and Mine Brook Road. The speed limit reduction is part of an overall effort to improve public safety at the intersection of those two roads.

The township municipal complex is located at 1 Collyer Lane in Basking Ridge.