NUTLEY, NJ  - Plans for two new committees under the direction of the mayor were announced during the Nutley Board of Commissioners Tuesday, May 19 virtual public meeting. All five commissioners were present from separate locations. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the remainder of the 2020-year public meetings have been moved online to Zoom until further notice.

Mayor and Parks and Recreation Commissioner Mauro G. Tucci said he wants to establish a small business committee and a school expansion committee, suggested by Public Safety Commissioner Alphonse Petracco during the reorganization meeting earlier the same day. See story - Nutley Board of Commissioners Reorganize and Get to Work Immediately.

Resolutions

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Resolution 112-20 approves the Essex County and the township’s reimbursement agreement of the Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) funds from the United States Treasury (the "Stimulus Funds") due to economic damage caused to them by the pandemic.

Resolution 110-20 was passed certifying that the municipality is in compliance with the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s “Enforcement Guidance on the Consideration of Arrest and Conviction Records in Employment Decisions under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The certification is necessary before the township can submit the annual budget to the Division of Local Government Services.

Revenue and Finance Commissioner Thomas J. Evans clarified although the resolution is passed the township currently has a new hire freeze in effect.

Resolution 111-20 was approved and authorizes the township to accept a $10,000 federal award from the Emergency Management Agency Assistance Subgrant Program to enhance the Emergency Management Program and emergency management purposes.

Resolution 113-20 was approved authorizing the township clerk to advertise for sealed bids for the Witherspoon Street Roadway Improvement Project from Hancox to Conover avenues.

Cablevision is upgrading its cable television system to a fully Fiber to the Home (FTTH) system which requires the installation of three Remote Optic Light Terminals (ROLT) and associated equipment within the Municipal Right-of-Way located at Grant Avenue adjacent to Block 6702 Lot 19; Church Street adjacent to Block 5900 Lot 1; and Hancox Avenue adjacent to Block 9305 Lot 7.

Gabriele Roofing and Siding Inc. in Nutley was awarded a one-year contract, with an option to extend for one additional year, not to exceed $90,000.

Public Comment

Tammy Rossi of Nutley asked if the township also has a salary freeze in effect. Mayor Tucci said a salary freeze is very likely if there is financial distress in the township. Rossi also asked how much of the transitional state aid has the township already received this year.

Commissioner Evans said 85 percent of the anticipated aid be received is about $2.8 million. According to Evans, remaining 15 percent should come later in the year. “We have a commitment from the state. The money is usually transferred to us later in the year […]. My expectation is we will receive that aid because it is directly related to the medical school decision which we made a number of years ago to allow the school to be there verses another economic driver,” he said.

Chris Cullari of Nutley asked if the 2020 municipal budget was implemented using zero-based budgeting. Evans said not the full principals of zero-based budgeting.

According to Evans, one principal in zero-based budgeting is reducing the tax rate. He said in order to reduce the tax rate by one penny there has to be $325,000 in new revenue or in deductions in cost. “For this particular budget we wanted to achieve a zero impact on the [municipal tax] levy which required us to identify $4 million worth of cuts or revenue infusions to make that happen,” Evans said.

Evans clarified that they implemented zero-based budgeting principals in 2019 but did not “go down to paper clips and pencils.” In 2019 the board cut $2.9 million from the budget to achieve a zero increase.

Patricia Doherty of Nutley asked for information about the Paterson Newark Transit Market Study sponsored by the North Jersey transportation Authority. The light rail system owned by Norfolk Southern uses Nutley’s On3 right of way, which includes a linked bus route through portions of Nutley’s residential streets. Public Works Commissioner Joseph P. Scarpelli said there are only two stops that he is aware on near On3. Scarpelli said there are some advantages and disadvantages to light rail. He suggested the BOC meet with the county again for updates.

Amy Bechelli of Nutley, a volunteer for the non-profit CPAW NJ, asked for Nutley to support this program monetarily. Mayor Tucci said to send the information to the Department of Public Affairs and Commissioner John V. Kelly III would take a look at it. CPAW NJ donates pet food through Nutley Family Service Bureau and also works with the Bloomfield Animal Shelter which provides animal control services to Nutley. The organization also implements the TNVR (trap, neuter vaccinate and release) program.  

The next Board of Commissioners meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday, June 4 via Zoom. To gain access to the meeting go to zoom.us/j/98805921694. Password: 876956. For those without computer access or mobile device you may dial into the meeting at:  (number based on your current location) US: +1 929 205 6099; +1 312 626 6799; +1 301 715 8592; +1 346 248 7799; +1 669 900 6833; or +1 253 215 8782. Meeting ID: 988 0592 1694.

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