NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ – Last night in a unanimous vote, the borough council approved an amendment to an ordinance prohibiting the provision of massage services as a principal use under land use provisions of the borough code.

The amended ordinance further stipulated that the provision of massages was acceptable as an accessory or secondary use at some businesses. 

“Examples include spas, day spas, hair salons and nail salons,” Borough Administrator Doug Marvin said.

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The evenings meeting was marked by a somber event following the Pledge of Allegiance. 

Mayor J. Brooke Hern invited fellow council members and meeting attendees to join him to spend a minute of silence at the 9/11 Memorial located at Centennial Park. 

The memorial was dedicated one year ago to the New Providence families who lost loved ones at the World Trade Center. 

Under evening skies that were transitioning from late sunset to early darkness, Mayor Hern read the names of the local residents. 

“Those residents and that day will never be forgotten,” Councilman Michael Gennaro told the audience of about 30 people.

Regrouping in council chambers, Mayor Hern introduced Municipal Alliance Co-chairwoman Krina Griffin who presented members of the Ryan Tunney Band with proclamations who had donated their time and service to the alliance.

In addition to Tunney are his brother, Kevin, along with Zach Falk, Alex Agresti and Jack Galardi.

The Borough Council also approved an ordinance to regulate the placement and use of clothing bins.

Councilman Gennaro said that many clothing bins in the borough had been placed under false pretenses. “They were not for charitable purposes,” he said.

In the future licensing for bins would be conducted by borough approval. 

Hern told the audience that the VFW Park on South Street is undergoing expansion through property purchased through the Open Space Trust Fund.  He also said that major improvements have recently been made at the borough’s Senior Service Center.

Councilman Alan Lesnewich submitted tentative plans to improve an existing field at the former Hillview School located on Central Avenue on property owned by the borough.

Two early recommendations include a $211,000 expansion of the recreation field.

A second option that would include limited synthetic turf for the infield of a baseball diamond is estimated to be $197,000. 

The council took no immediate action on the recommendations but requested more definitive information for its next meeting on Sept. 24. 

Councilman Lesnewich said that the funding could come from a matching grant from the Union County Kids Trust Fund and the New Providence Open Space Trust Fund.  He added additional funds might be required through a bond authorization. 

Following the conclusion of the public meeting, the council adjourned to a closed session to take up matters related to local liquor consumption licenses and a shared emergency dispatch service with Summit and/or Morris and/or Union County. 

“Things are percolating but there is nothing to talk about at this minute,” Marvin said.