Government

Madison Council Approves Four-Hour Parking Ordinance; Department Heads Present 2017 Budgets

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MADISON, NJ – A lengthy meeting that entailed numerous budget presentations, awards and a four-hour parking limit on borough streets, ultimately ended well after its usual 11 p.m. time.

Several residents spoke up about the parking ordinance, which would limit parking on all streets in Madison to four hours, Monday through Friday, except holidays, between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. or unless published otherwise. The council adopted the ordinance.

One resident asked why all streets were included, since he saw many streets in town that had no cars or just one or two.

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“The intent is not to give out tickets,” Mayor Robert Conley said, but that it was more complicated to deal with streets a block at a time. He said when the commuter lot is full, people will park day long on side streets. Exceptions can be made through the Police Department for overnight permission or if work is being done on a property.

Another resident said it was important to give police power, that un-crowded streets keep Madison attractive and monitoring parking is a source of revenue.

Several residents had suggestions for commuter parking, such as a shuttle service. “I believe in mass transit,” Mayor Conley said, “and would love to hear from other towns to work out a solution together.”

Russ Brown of the Construction Department said operating expenses are paid through permit revenue. Total permit revenues are up 34% from last year, totaling $1,015,825. Two thousand permits were issues, up 4% from last year. Inspections were up 10%, totaling 8,000.  Incoming and outgoing phone calls came to 17,650. The department processed 200 Chatham zoning applications.

Nancy Adamczyk, Director of the Madison Library, said 2016 had been “a very good year.”  Technology has included a new Wi-Fi system, cabling and reorganized network closets; back office remodeling includes new furnishings. The lobby has a new ceiling, lighting, carpet and furnishings. There is also a picture book room. Funding has been provided by the Friends of the Library as well as donations. The library has expanded its e books, introduced Fresh Picks and held a Touch a Truck event. Over 118,000 people visited the library, patrons borrowed 217 items and the library sponsored over 400 programs, attracting 14,000 attendees. The library is in the process of hiring a new Library Director. Adamcayk expects her replacement to be there in April

Board of Trustees President Tom Bettinger reviewed the capital budget and strategic plan.  Asbestos abatement will be done in the children’s room and adult services room.  That will require a major architectural study, he said. He said the 50 year old building would have to be closed during the process, so an alternative space would need to be found. Funds are being raised for roof replacement, with construction in 2018.  

Former council member Robert Catalanello asked if another home or should be found for the library. He noted that the asbestos issues have been ongoing for several years and that the long term costs keep going up.

Borough Engineer Robert Vogel described capital plans for the Department of Public Works, Engineering, Storm Water System, Sanitary Capital, Buildings and Grounds and Road Construction.

Michael Fitzpatrick of The Health Department and Ken O’Brien of Public Works also made presentations. .

A presentation earlier in the evening covered bleachers for Field One of the Madison Recreation Complex, a Home Energy Assessment Program and repairs to the James Library building.

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