Further Steps Taken Towards Traffic Light at Gathering Road

Montville Township Mayor James Sandham Credits: Melissa Benno

MONTVILLE, NJ – Township officials hope to meet with Morris County Freeholders to speed up the process of potentially installing a traffic light at the intersection of Changebridge and Gathering Roads. Residents have come in force to the past two township committee meetings to complain about unsafe conditions at the intersection.

Mayor James Sandham told the assembly at the July 19 township committee meeting that the county is willing to pay for a traffic study that will aid in ultimately deciding the need for a traffic light, since Changebridge Road is a county road. However, he said the county would like to wait until six months after the opening of a daycare center that is now being built across from the intersection, which is estimated to happen in January of 2017.

“We would like decisions to be made before then, with projected numbers,” Sandham said.

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The meeting with freeholders who reside in Montville, he said, is to ask them to have the traffic study conducted sooner than the summer of 2017.

No traffic study had been conducted as part of the 2009 approval of construction of the daycare, Sandham said. Should the traffic study lead to the recommendation of constructing a traffic light at the intersection, the county has promised to pay for 50% of the cost of construction, Township Engineer Mark Mantyla said, if the township pays for 100% of the engineering design. The average cost of such an intersection is $200,000, he said.

Township Administrator Victor Canning stated that the owner of the property at the southeast corner of Gathering has already cut down bushes that were severely impeding sight distance at the intersection, and Mantyla will be conducting an inspection to decide if a tree at the edge of the property must also be cut down to further improve sightlines.

Audit Report

Sandham announced the township had received its audit report and stated there was only one minor comment on the internal financial management controls, which he considered “great.”

“Every year there’s been a couple of things, and they’re always taken care of, and addressed,” said Sandham. “Kudos go to the administration and the CFO.”

One highlight, said Sandham, is the township has $2 million more in cash than last year, and that the township has a reserve for tax appeals, which it has never had before. From 2014 to 2015 it increased from $1.5 million to $2.75 million, he said.

“We are getting ahead of the curve, instead of being behind,” Sandham said.

Other News

Due to lack of interest on the part of six out of ten of last year’s vendors, the farmer’s market will not take place this year.

The Montville UNICO Feast of San Gennaro Carnival will feature fireworks this year on Sept. 10. Committee Member Deb Nielson desired an estimate of the overtime that will be required by Montville Township police officers.

Canning said the Morris County Joint Insurance Fund conducted a Loss Control/Risk Management inspection, and inspectors told Canning the township had a “strong management commitment to safety, good follow-through with all departments in terms of risk management, facilities and operations, which is a credit to the staff who work here. They make us proud every day, and it’s an honor to work with so many who have retired,” Canning said.

Towaco Civic Association member Bob Woods worked with New Jersey Natural Gas and the company straightened and repainted rusty bollards on Whitehall Road, Deputy Mayor Richard Conklin reported.

The township committee would like to name a police recognition day.

“They do an outstanding job for us,” said Sandham.

The project to construct sidewalks between Lazar Middle School and Church Lane was sent out to bid last week. Township Engineer Mark Mantyla was unsure if the project could be completed before school begins.

The Sisco House, home to VFW Post 5481, will have its kitchen renovated in the next few weeks.

Cheryl Road will have new stop signs and crosswalk curb ramps installed at Demoray Court and Flanders Drive. A resident spoke at the microphone to reiterate his wish for a four-way stop sign at Konner Road, but the Demoray and Flanders stop signs will be tried first.


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