MOUNTAINSIDE, NJ – On Tuesday, Feb. 6 the Borough Council reviewed topics to be discussed at its Feb. 20 regular meeting. Among the topics to be covered are the renewal of Animal Control Service contract, appointment of a Deputy Court Administrator as well as grant applications. Moreover, the council discussed that an additional crossing guard be added the Beechwood School.

The council will vote on the renewal of its animal control services contract with Animal Control Solutions, LLC. Mayor Paul Mirabelli noted that the two-year contract features a 15-16 percent cost increase. The increase is due to raising operational and insurance costs. The municipal service contract concentrates on the control of unlicensed cats and dogs. It is not responsible for cleaning up roadkill. The animal cruelty enforcement is carried out by the Mountainside Police Department.

The council also discussed the appointment of Eileen Keating as the new Deputy Court Administrator. Keating worked previously at the Summit Municipal Court. However, her position was eliminated when Summit entered into a joint court system with New Providence and Berkeley Heights. Mirabelli noted that Keating has more court experience than the previous municipal court clerk. Her annual salary will be $47,000 which remains the same as Keating’s predecessor.

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The council will also authorize applications for the Highway Safety Program and Volunteer Fire Assistant Grants. Police Chief Allan Attanasio explained that the borough has applied for the Highway Safety Program Grant every year. Since it is pooled with other municipalities patrolling a section of a highway the amount varies each year depending on how many of the towns apply for it. He expects the grant to be approximately $5,000 this year. The Volunteer Fire Assistant Grant amounts to approximately $1,000.

Attanasio also told the council that Chief School Administrator Nancy Lubarsky had requested a crossing guard to ensure students safety during the morning drop off at the Beechwood School. Attanasio noted that an additional crossing guard would be “over and above” what the Police Department can do. Lubasky had also asked if a teacher could act as a crossing guard at the school. Attanasio explained that according to law the municipality has to approve a crossing guard and provide the required training. The position would also have to be advertised.

Mirabelli noted that the municipality could hire a crossing guard if the school district is willing to pay for the costs, including advertising the position, equipment, training and the salary. Attanasio explained that the district only needs coverage for one hour in the morning during school days.

The public hearing on two ordinances, one regarding community pool membership fees and the other regarding parking limits on Mohawk Drive, will take place at the Feb. 20 regular meeting.