MADISON, NJ – After some revisions to a resolution for user fees at the Madison Recreation Center, the borough council adopted the amended resolution at its Nov. 28 regular meeting.
Councilman Robert Conley, who will become mayor in January, said he had reservations about the possible cost to the taxpayer. “The $34,000 was borrowed in anticipation of fund raising,” he said. “We should put the priority on current obligations.” In terms of amending the resolution, he added, “It’s always good to have it in writing. We have to be careful. The time may come when user fees won’t cover the cost.”
Wording in the amendment was changed from “may be used” to “shall be used to pay principal and interest on MRC debt.”
There was also discussion about funding for the construction of a field house. “If funding doesn’t materialize, we’re left holding the bag,” Councilman Robert Catalanello said. Councilman Don Links noted that the field house is essentially a money maker.
The council discussed leaf removal. Conley urged the borough administrator, Raymond Codey, to make sure the work is done. “It’s a disaster waiting to happen,” he said. Conley expressed concerns about students walking home from school on streets that are littered with leaves and branches. “This was a storm of epic proportions,” he said. “There are lessons learned and we don’t want to be putting people in danger.” He said the council should know what resources are lacking.
David Maines of the Department of Public Works said, “We will have the town clean of debris by Saturday, or at the latest, next Wednesday.” He made it clear, however, that he was referring to brush, not leaves.
The borough has hired outside contractors, according to Codey, as equipment is not available within the community to handle the extensive damage. “We need to get it off the street before snowfall,” he said. He added overtime has been offered, but has not been mandatory. “Our guys are stressed. We need more resources,” he said.
In addition, the council heard a presentation from Police Officer Joseph Longo on emergency call boxes. Longo explained that some locations, such as the Madison Recreation Center, are removed from the center of town. With a Regional Communication Center being formed, the concern is that, in an emergency, someone might not get local help. Dispatchers farther away, he said, might not know where Madison is, and valuable moments could be lost. The emergency box he proposed has a solar panel and would be a direct link to the Madison Police Department.
An ordinance to improve flashers at the Noe Avenue and Woodland Road intersection, not to exceed $25,000, was introduced.
The council adopted a resolution to award a contract to Value Research Group, LLC for consulting services regarding the Green Village Road School property redevelopment.
An ordinance was approved to appropriate $320,000 from the water capital improvement fund for construction of a water main replacement on Academy Road and Division Avenue.
The council adopted a resolution authorizing 2011 budget transfers. Conley reminded the public that budget hearings will be held, beginning at 6 p.m. Friday, Dec. 9. “I encourage the public to come,” he said.
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