NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ – Councilman Jim Madden provided the latest news on the renovation of Oakwood Park at the council meeting on Monday, Sep. 11. The council also discussed recent and upcoming personnel changes.

Madden explained that for the first time he is not pleased with JCP&L as the installation of Oakwood Park field lighting has not progressed as expected. JCP&P did not install the power source on the field as planned despite the fact that the work order had been submitted quite a while ago. He noted that the football season has started and many coaches who work in the city are not able to start practices before 5:30-6 pm so the field lighting is needed as the days become shorter.

The sodding has also been delayed due to the lack of a power source. However, the work on the field complex is expected to be finished by Oct. 6, Madden said.

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The council also approved a resolution to purchase two storage sheds to be placed at Oakwood Field for the amount of $8,000. The cost of the sheds will be reimbursed by the soccer and lacrosse clubs as well as the PAL organization, all which will store their equipment in them.

Furthermore, the council approved the resolution for new fencing. The All Fence Company, LLC will replace the existing fence that separates Oakwood Park from the Department of Public Works (DPW) lot with a six foot high black chain link fence. The cost of the fence is approximately $13,500. Madden noted that the borough is saving some money by having its own personnel remove the old fence.

Councilman Michael Gennaro explained that the borough is about to make an important decision of naming a new CFO. “It is a big deal!” The borough had hired a consultant to help finding the right candidate. The search for the CFO has now been narrowed to eight candidates.

The council accepted the retirement of Richard Howlett, a roadman for the DPW as of Sep. 1. Councilman Robert Robinson explained that Howlett has been very ill and remains hospitalized. “You couldn’t ask for a better employee,” Mayor Al Morgan said and complimented Howlett as being “like an ironman.”

Morgan also told the council that Library Director Colleen Byrne will retire as of Nov.1, 2017.

Moreover, the council appointed Michelle Zack as part-time Program Coordinator for the Community Activities Department. She will work no more than 29 hours per week for $20/hour.