Ripple Effects of Hurricane Sandy Dominate Madison Council Meeting

Mayor Robert Conley honors firefighters for their roles as Hurricane Heroes. Credits: Liz Keill
MADISON, NJ – A series of proclamations read by Mayor Robert Conley topped the agenda for the Monday, Nov. 26 Borough Council meeting.
Referring to them as Hurricane Heroes, the mayor honored the Madison Auxiliary Police Unit, utility crews from Delaware and Louisiana, and firefighters who rescued Shannon Cadogan on Nov. 17 from the second floor of a building engulfed by flames. Resident Robert Potter received the Mayor’s Award for rescuing the Bomgarter family by ladder from the second floor of their home when an explosion resulted in a fire.
Councilman Robert Landrigan said the Emergency Management Team would help residents receive FEMA funds if damage is not covered by insurance.
The council adopted a resolution to apply for a Community Development Block Grant in the amount of $100,000, requested by the Madison Affordable Housing Corporation. With the ability to provide hot water and heat, Councilwoman Carmela Vitale said of the block grant, “It’s one of the best things that’s come out of the storm.”

The council also appropriated $70,000 for a public works utility vehicle from the general capital improvement fund. The previous vehicle was lost during Hurricane Sandy.  Residents were reminded to bundle sticks for curbside pickup and to separate branches, leaves and other debris.
A public/private partnership has been initiated with Union Beach in Monmouth County. With a population of 5,000, the community was badly damaged by the hurricane. Conley said he had spoken with the mayor of Union Beach and would reach out to the Interfaith Council for support. “One person has already offered a $10,000 donation,” he said.
Landrigan said, “The area was devastated,” adding that musical instruments had been requested for the schools. Vitale suggested that volunteers go down physically, collect books and do whatever is possible to reopen a school. “We’re all in this together,” Conley said.
In other matters, council appropriated $480,000 for roadway improvements on Rosedale Avenue. Borough Engineer Robert Vogel said the state would provide $140,000. He said this is one of three major road projects, including Samson Avenue and Green Avenue. Work is expected to begin in early spring. The project is part of a five-year plan.
In addition, the council appropriated $46,000 for HVAC units at the Madison Library  and approved a shed for the Community Garden.

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