Berkeley Heights Mayor's Round Table July Edition: Discussion on Municipal Redevelopment Project Update, Opioid Epidemic and more

July's edition of the Mayor's Round Table Credits: Mai Day Productions

BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - Mayor's Round Table is a monthly show hosted by Dr. Donald DeFabio, who sits with Mayor Robert Woodruff to talk about current issues that affect the township as well as answer questions submitted by citizens. 

Included in this episode, Mayor Woodruff and Councilman Michael D'Aquila provide an update on Municipal Building Project and much more.

  • Councilman Michael D'Aquila discusses dates of the construction of the Municipal Complex Building project.
    • Information is on the Berkeley Heights Township website regarding redevelopment documents of preliminary project schedule and a fact sheet of what will be in the building.
    • Project consists of 4 different phases.
      • Construction of a new Salt Dome - in design, project will have construction activity this fall.
      • Municipal Complex - Police, Library, Administrative, Community Center 
      • Improvements to the DPW facilities
      • Streetscape and parking. Increasing commuter parking by 60-70 parking spaces.
    • How much is it going to cost the Township and residents
      • $28M budget, net cost that includes the land transaction with with Little Flower Church is a net projected cost $21M projected budgeted cost. The tax increase would be $78 based on an averaged assessed home value of $208,000. Without the land transaction the tax increase would be  $255 increase.
    • Currently in the Schematic Design Phase
    • Hiring a Project Manager - stay on time, on track and on budget
  • Master Plan -- Citizen meetings, August 2, 7 to 9 p.m. and August 5, 9-12 noon. At the Municipal Complex at 29 Park Ave.
  • Restaurant Week -- Experience Berkeley Heights. Begins September 11, 2017.
  • Police Chief John DiPasquale speaks of the Opioid Epidemic.  
    • CLEAR Program -- Community Law Enforcement Addiction Recovery
      • Network of professionals within Union County community that will enable the appropriate medical treatment and family intervention. 
      • Citizens of Union County battling substance abuse or addiction will be eligible to surrender small amounts of narcotics without being arrested and gain access to recovery services free of charge under a new initiative being launched today by the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders, Prevention Links, and the County Sheriff’s Office, Police Department, and Prosecutor’s Office.

        The Community Law Enforcement Addiction Recovery (C.L.E.A.R.) program will be available to members of the public from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays at the Union County Sheriff’s Office, basement level of 27 Elizabethtown Plaza in Elizabeth, and at Union County Police Department headquarters, 300 North Avenue East in Westfield.

    • Dispose of prescription drugs. Optoins: BHPD participates in Drug Take Back twice a year. Throughout Union County there are drop boxes at various Police Departments with no questions asked.
    • Officers are equipped with Narcan. Since 2014, BHPD has used Narcan 14 times where lives were saved. In that same time period, there have been three deaths due to overdose.
    • Awareness program: LEAD (Law Enforcement Against Drugs) program is in 5th grade. 
    • Drug Awareness seminar in Berkeley Heights on July 31 at Town Hall at 7 p.m. 
    • Partnered with the Primrose School of Berkeley Heights, who donated a drug kit to get the message out.


Berkeley Heights Here and Now: Mayor, municipal offices will provide updates and the Communications Committee wants the citizens to be heard, wants to hear from the businesses and wants to hear from the community organizations. 

The show will also be shown through this column on TAP into Berkeley Heights and the Township Website. (A DVD will be placed at the Public Library.)

Citizens of Berkeley Heights are welcome to email a question for the "Ask the Mayor a Question" segment of the  show. Your email must state your full name, postal address and phone number. 

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of or anyone who works for is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer.

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