NUTLEY, NJ - Township joins UDrive. UText. UPay.” campaign; and resident questions soccer field time during the Tuesday, April 2 Board of Commissioners public meeting. Public Affairs Commissioner Steven L. Rogers was absent excused.

Announcements

A moment of silence was requested by Mayor and Public Works Commissioner Joseph P. Scarpelli for three retired township employees. Daniel Westerlund, 60, of Toms River, formerly of Nutley, died on March 31. He worked for the Nutley Department of Public Works for many years and retired in 2017. Robert V. Rodriguez, 77, of Nutley died on March 29. He retired from the Township of Nutley Tax Assessor's office after 15 years. Paul Edwards, 60, of Belleville died on March 6. He retired after 29 years of service as a lieutenant in the Nutley Police Department.

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“Paul Edwards [was] one of the kindest, gentlest human beings you will ever meet in your life,” said Public Safety Commissioner Alphonse Petracco.

Petracco said he spoke with Nutley Police Chief Thomas Strumolo and is going to honor Edwards request to have all the township police cars have “protect and serve” decaled on them. “He really felt that was his duty as a police officer to protect and serve his community,” he said.

Parks and Recreation Commissioner Mauro G. Tucci announced that April 2, was Light it Up Blue, in recognition of Autism Awareness Month.

April is Dog and Cat license renewal month and the municipal clerk’s office will be open till 8 p.m. April 24, 25 and 30 to accommodate.

Resolutions

The township pledges to increase awareness of the dangers of distracted driving by passing a resolution supporting the “UDrive. UText. UPay.” Distracted Driving Crackdown campaign from April 1 to 21.

Resolutions were passed to acknowledge April 1-7 as National Public Health Week; National Donate Life Month; and Oral Cancer Awareness Month.

Meredith Blank was reappointed as the certified municipal registrar for a three year term effective June 5, 2018 through June 5, 2021.

Refunds of 2019 tax charges in the amount of $2,318.58 were granted for 20 Evergreen Ave.

Marczaks, Inc. in Metuchen was the winning bid for surplus equipment no longer in use by the township. Marczaks, Inc. purchased a 2002 Chevrolet Impala for $10 and a 2003 Honda Accord for $325.

The Greenutley team is pursuing re-certification at the Bronze Level for Sustainable Jersey Municipal Certification. The Greenutley Team was created on June 9, 2009 to pursue local initiatives and actions that would lead to Sustainable Jersey Municipal Certification.  A resolution was passed confirming the Greenutley Team is still active in the community, advancing sustainable practices and its members demonstrate interest in advancing “green” efforts of the township.

Sealed bids for the Community Development Block Grant Ernest Street Roadway Improvements Project opened and read on March 13 were rejected due to not containing the required forms per New Jersey Local Public Contracts Law the bids. The new bids are to be received by 11 a.m. Wednesday, April 24 at 1 Kennedy Drive.

An off-premise merchandise raffle license was approved for Knights of Columbus #14712 Holy Family Council for July 14.

Public Comment

Amy Christman of Nutley questioned the Parks and Recreation Department about field time in the spring for Nutley United and Nutley Elite Soccer Academy (NESA), a private entity. Her son’s team on Nutley United had to move their Tuesday and Thursday practices to the hockey rink on Owens Field instead of the soccer field at Fr. Glotzbach Park.  She asked why Nutley teams are not getting priority.

According to Frank DeMaio, superintendent of the Parks and Recreation Department, the NESA trains the Nutley Elite kids. “In exchange for the training …if we would not help them out with some field space it would cost an excess of $600 a person for Nutley United kids to play,” he said.

Nutley United, a Parks and Recreation Department program, charges the kids $325 to play. There are currently 300 children participating in the rec. program. DeMaio said the team only uses the field a couple hours a week and it does not interfere with their field time. DeMaio claims by letting NESA use the field each child’s parents are saving $275.

DeMaio said in the spring soccer is a secondary sport and gets limited amount of time. DeMaio explains there are softball, baseball, soccer and high school lacrosse all playing at those three fields and the hockey rink.

“Spring soccer is a serious sport, just because it occurs in the fall in the high school, there are thriving leagues all over the country and spring soccer is not a secondary sport,” said Christman.

Christman disagrees with the discounted rate to train the team in exchange for field time and believes the price should be raised then to train the Nutley United kids. Commissioner Tucci said, “I’m happy to hear and I’m going to assume…that you are willing to pay more money for that training, but unfortunately there are many Nutley families who can’t afford to pay more money.”

Maria Bozza of Nutley questioned the quarterly $9 additional fee on the water bill.

Nutley adopted the new $3 a month service and maintenance fee on the water bill during the Tuesday, Dec. 4 Board of Commissioners public meeting. In exchange for the fee the township will take responsibility with the supply line from the curb to the water box which was the homeowner’s responsibility. The township will also eliminate the cost for meter replacement and the charges for turning service on and off. Commissioner Scarpelli said there has only been two water rate increases in the last 12 years, and that consumption is down and the maintenance fee is to help compensate that.

The next Board of Commissioners meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 16.