NUTLEY, NJ - Outside dining policies were questioned during public comment portion of the Tuesday, June 16 Board of Commissioners meeting.
While the Board is meeting in person in the Commission Chambers, the public may only participate via Zoom where they are able to view the meeting and speak during public comment in real time. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the remainder of the 2020-year public meetings have been moved to Zoom until further notice.
Mayor/Parks and Recreation Commissioner Mauro G. Tucci said with help from his new Business Collaboration Committee many of the restaurants in town were able to create outside dining and open up. However, these establishments can only hold 25 percent occupancy or 50 people, whichever is smaller and adhere to social distancing and other COVIC-19 state guidelines.
The township canceled this year’s summer concerts. Tucci said they could not guarantee social distancing and the required safety precautions. Also on the list for canceled recreation activities is Camp Nutley due to the very strict safety rules.
COVID-19 Overtime Payroll for the week of June 12 is $11,579.18. The state government will reimburse these funds as part of the CARES Act.
The Board approved Ordinance No. 3441 introduced by Public Safety Commissioner Alphonse Petracco on May 5 removing the charge and collection of the $25 administration fee on every vehicle towed to compensate the Township for its administrative costs. The ordinance amends the ordinance in the code of Nutley, chapter 673, entitled Vehicles, Impoundment and Towing; particularly Section 5 entitled “towing,” Subsection K entitled “Towing and Storage Fee Schedule.”
Five employees of the Public Works Department, Anthony Lombardozzi, Michael Lombardozzi, John Riccio, Mark Riccio and Dominick Sodano each transferred five of their accumulated sick leave for a total of 25 days to fellow employee Jarret McCarthy, who has exhausted all of his available sick leave and other time as of June 19.
The Board appointed Tucci as a representative of the Community Development Block Grant Committee from May 19, 2020 through Dec. 31, 2020.
Resolution 136-20 amends the contract of Ricci Planning for supplemental professional planning services is not to exceed $5,000. The township entered into contract with Paul Ricci, P.P., of Ricci Planning in Clark in 2019. The Township is required to revise its Housing Element and Fair Share Plan to address its current and future affordable housing obligations.
The township entered into contract with ROK Industries, doing business as NJ Tax Lien Investors.com in Belle Mead for Electronic Tax Sale Services at a rate of $15 per line item, not to exceed $4,500 in accordance with the June 8 proposal.
The township is advertising for sealed bids for skylight glazing replacement and repair/restoration at the Nutley Public Library. Specifications are available in the Purchasing Department at Township Hall, One Kennedy Drive, Nutley.
The township is extending its contract for 90 days with Integrity Recycling and Waste Solutions, Inc. which expired on June 30, 2020 due to result of the COVID-19 pandemic and State of Emergency, not to interrupt service. The extension is through Sept. 30, 2020, with all terms remaining the same as written in the original contract.
Chris Cullari of Nutley questioned Nutley’s outdoor dining policy and what the township has done to help them better serve their customers.
Tucci said the committee reached out to the restaurants and helped them apply for the extension of premises permits allowed for the pandemic. Revenue and Finance Commissioner Thomas J. Evans added that the committee helped the businesses get a quick turn around on the applications for outside dining.
The township has waved the $100 café fee, normally charged for outdoor seating and has relaxed some restrictions in the zoning ordinance to allow for outdoor dining and is allowing restaurants near municipal parking lots to use them for dining. The committee has also coordinated with Essex County to use Franklin Avenue, Centre Street, Kingsland Street and Washington Avenue for street dining.
Evans said many restaurant owners are questioning the costs involved since outdoor dining is only a temporary provision. Once Gov. Phil Murphy allows for dining inside again, many of these provisions for outdoor dining will be withdrawn. “Part of the challenge for business owners to open up and to use the street, there’s significant costs to them associated with doing that, […] personal costs to setting up the safety measures that are required and making the purchases,” he said.
As of the June 16 meeting, seven restaurants received permits and three were to be issued on June 17.
Dorothy Huey of Nutley, soon to be president of Nutley Rotary, said the organization would like to do a community needs assessment and would like help from the township. Huey said they want to do more community service and be more active in the community. Huey said the organization has helped Nutley Family Service Bureau and Nutley Volunteer Emergency and Rescue Squad. Tucci said to contact each of the departments to see where there may be a need for service.
The next Board of Commissioners meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday, July 9 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.