HOPATCONG, NJ – There was a celebratory mood at the borough council meeting Wednesday, Aug. 1.
Mayor Sylvia Petillo did not present the Mayor’s Trophy Award at the Hopatcong High School Senior Sports dinner this spring because she was attending a Girl Scout bridging ceremony that night, so she presented Shane Sickles with the award, which turned out to be a desk clock, at the council meeting.
Shane played midget football, but turned to golf in high school. He was captain of the high school golf team during his junior and senior years and was in the state sectionals his senior year. Although he was scouted by a number of schools, he chose Fairleigh Dickinson University to continue his education.
Also honored at the meeting was Bill Wagner, who has been running the Soap Box Derby at Hopatcong Days for 16 years. Petillo said there are so many aspects of the derby, including safety, organization, announcements, awards and involving adult racers from other municipalities. She decreed Thursday, Aug. 2, “Bill Wagner Day” in the borough.
A third proclamation honored the Hopatcong Business League and its president, Bob Winegar and executive director Vito Castoro. Petillo said the league puts on many events during the year, including ice skating, a Christmas extravaganza, a Halloween parade and the soap box derby, and raises a good deal of money for the community.
“They always put the community first,” the mayor said.
Winegar said the award belongs to Castoro, “the man who makes everything happen.”
She decreed Friday, Aug. 3, “Hopatcong Business League Day".
In more routine matters, the council tabled the deer control ordinance that was scheduled for public hearing. Petillo explained she has been in contact with the state Division of Fish and Game and representatives there brought up several matters that need to be considered for the ordinance. A public hearing will be held Sept. 5.
The committee passed a resolution authorizing Borough Attorney John Ursin to inform the state Department of Environmental Protection the borough has no objection to vacating Lydia Street, Anita Street and a portion of Rand Street.
Ursin explained Green Acres was interested in acquire a section of privately owned land adjacent to Hopatcong State Park to expand the park. Discussion of this acquisition has gone on for several years.
The attorney said once the borough is committee to vacating these paper streets, the state will have the property surveyed and bring the surveys to the council. At that point, he said, council will have to determine how to retain ownership of the Rand Street well and pipes that carry borough water up Rand Street through part of the area to be vacated. He said an easement can be used to allow the water company employees to maintain the well and piping.
There is also a small piece of borough property included in the area to be added to the park. Ursin said the borough could be compensated for that piece of land.
On another matter, council passed a resolution allowing the municipal court to accept credit cards as payment. Township Administrator Robert Elia said the Superior Court ruled municipalities must pass such a resolution to accept credit cards.