CLARK, NJ – The Clark Council, acting as the pool utility for the Clark Pool, awarded a contract to a new concession vendor for the 2017 pool season during Monday’s township council meeting.

Bagel Giant Café and Catering, LLC was awarded the contract after much discussion of their bid during the bidding process.  The council voted, 6-1, in approval of the contract.

During his report, Councilman Bill Smith reminded the public that pool memberships are currently being accepted and the Open House is set for Saturday, May 13 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

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Three ordinances were also passed at the council meeting. The first ordinance amends and supplements Chapter 255 - Property Maintenance. The ordinance states that “mortgage foreclosures often result in the abandonment and neglect of residential properties.”  The amendments establish standards for the registration and maintenance of vacant and abandoned residential properties in foreclosure by creditors.  In short, creditors will be responsible for the upkeep of these properties.

The second ordinance amends various sections of the code as it pertains to the township's volunteer fire department.

The third ordinance amends and supplements Chapter 310 – Streets and Sidewalks in regards to monitoring wells.  Laezza explained at the March workshop meeting that the amendments include the definition of monitoring wells as well as the permit process and responsibility that is included with placing them.  Monitoring wells are used to monitor the quality of groundwater and detect any seepage of contaminants.

Laezza said that on April 6, at Arthur L. Johnson High School, the Planning Board will hold a public hearing regarding the "Housing Element and Fair Share Plan" as an update of the township's master plan for the Township of Clark. 

“I advise all residents who want to know what the update is, in regards to zoning changes that will affect areas in the township, be in attendance and voice your concerns,” Laezza said.

“There will be no particular notifications to any particular property owners because these ordinances and these changes are part of the overall master plan,” Township Attorney Joseph J. Triarsi said. “By law, we are not required to publish or give individual property owners notice.  So, the only notices will be in the paper.

During his report, Mayor Sal Bonaccorso commended the Department of Public Works, as well as the police department, fire department and volunteer emergency squad, for their quick and professional work during last week’s blizzard. 

“I’d also like to take a moment to thank the Union County Department of Public Works… they helped some really hard areas we had that were dangerous areas,” Bonaccorso said.

He also announced that they had spent a lot of time with Moody’s recently and the township ended up with a bond rating of AA2.  “We went out to bond on a permanent basis and the interest rate… is 2.345% on permanent financing which is outrageous,” Bonaccorso said.  “So, the fiscal side of the town is very strong.”

Bonaccorso also reminded the town of the new grass pick up procedures.  “The bid came in about $65,000 or $70,000 over last year’s cost.  We could not afford to go out to the private vendor and pick it up,” Bonaccorso explained.  “Save those [plastic] drums.  We are going to go back out to big next year and see if the prices have gotten better.”

He went on to explain the between the chemicals and the fertilizers used on grass, a lot of landfills do not want to take it which is causing the increase in price.

“Grass pick up starts Tuesday, May 2.  Bags should be curbside by 6 a.m.,” Councilman Frank Mazzarella said.  “Plastic bags, plastic containers, or any kind of containers will not be picked up.”

Smith also reminded the public that registration for the summer recreation camp is currently open. 

“The rec camp run 9 a.m. to 12, Monday through Thursday," Smith said. "It begins on July 3 and ends the second week of August.”

Councilman Brian Toal announced that on April 22 (with an April 23 rain date) that Union County Freeholder Board will be sponsoring a cleanup of the Rahway River.  Toal said that volunteers will begin at 8:45 a.m. and meet at the Winfield Park Damn.  The work typically goes from 9 a.m. until noon but volunteers are urged to give any amount of time or effort they can.  

“Mother Nature needs your assistance,” Toal said.

For more information, email rivercleanup@comcast.net.

Council president Angel Albanese gave several updates on upcoming events happening at the Clark Public Library including the Italian American Museum on March 28, Pearl Observatory Portable Planetarium on April 10, Remedies from the Kitchen on April 20 , and The Notables in Concert on April 30.

Councilman Al Barr asked that all groups wishing to be a part of the Clark Memorial Day Parade should return the invite forms mailed to them promptly.  Any new groups wishing to join the parade should write to Barr and request a form.

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