NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ – The Borough Council held a public hearing on the Community Development Block Grant at its Monday, Nov. 18 meeting. Ultimately, Union County officials decide the amount for each project. As in previous years New Providence has prioritized senior social services and the senior health fair as the top two beneficiaries for the grant. Additionally, the DeCorso Center Library Replacement Project is the third priority for the potential grant funds.

With regard to other news the council appointed Kathleen Dolan Pellas to the Sustainability Committee and Meri-Beth Robertson to the Economic Development Committee. The council also named Margaret Dilley a Full-Time Violations Clerk for the Shared Court of Berkeley Heights, New Providence and Summit. Dilley has previously worked part-time in the same position. Mayor Al Morgan noted that Summit will pay the salary difference. Furthermore, the council introduced an ordinance establishing the minimum and maximum compensation rates for municipal employment positions. According to Councilman Robert Robinson this was last done in 2017.

The council also introduced two additional ordinances – one on borough fees and one on affordable housing. Robinson explained that the borough raises its fees minimally, and only when absolutely necessary. “If we need to increase fees we’d like to do it periodically and minimally,” he said. He also noted that several years ago the borough proposed considerable increases for construction permit fees, but council members found the fee schedule too high. The introduced ordinance proposes parking permit fee hikes from the current $360 to $400 for residents, and from $1,200 to $1,320 for non-residents. Also, the facilities usage fees are scheduled to go up. Robinson noted that fees are not going up every year, but only when deemed necessary. Morgan noted that the borough is maintaining the parking lots so that they remain safe for all who use them.

Councilman Robert Munoz explained that the introduced zoning ordinance accommodates affordable housing. In September the council approved a zoning ordinance to meet the affordable housing obligations. The introduced ordinance makes “a slight amendment” to the new zoning rules regarding parking garages as requested by the council.