NUTLEY, NJ - The Nutley Board of Commissioners held a virtual public meeting Tuesday, April 7 due to the Corona Virus Pandemic. All five commissioners were present via the phone.
Mayor and Public Works Commissioner Joseph P. Scarpelli held a moment of silence for all those who died due to COVID-19 particularly Maria LaBadia and Joseph F. Reilley.
Maria Grace (Rea) LaBadia, nee Spagnoletti, 62, of Nutley died on Monday, March 30, 2020. LaBadia was appointed director of the Nutley Public Library in 2012. Joseph F. Reilley, 85, of Nutley, died on Thursday March 26, 2020. He retired as a tax assessor serving Nutley for 43 years. He was a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps. and a lifetime member of the Nutley Elks and American Legion.
“We will defeat this. I can guarantee you that we are going to come out at the end of the tunnel,” said Scarpelli.
The May 2020 Municipal Election will be held by mail-in ballots only. A letter was sent out to residents.
Scarpelli said the Department of Public Works canceled sewage clean-up due to the risk that the virus may travel through the feces. All employees were issued masks and gloves and, where applicable, he has limited it to one person per a truck.
All DPW events are canceled including Shred-it Day, Compost Day, Spring Farmers Market, Electronic Recycling and Big Truck Day. It was noted at the meeting that the 2020-2021 Recycling Calendar was printed before the pandemic.
Parks and Recreation Commissioner Mauro G. Tucci reminded residents that all Nutley playgrounds and fields remain closed and all recreation events have been canceled. All township parks remain open but no more than 10 people at a time keeping a distance of at least 6 feet apart.
Public Affairs Commissioner Steven L. Rogers said his staff is working from home 24/7. The department has brought in some school nurses and volunteers. According to Rogers, it takes 7 hours to investigate one COVID-19 case and Nutley had as of the Tuesday night meeting 208 cases. As of Monday, April 13 there are now 271 known cases in Nutley.
Public Safety Commissioner Alphonse Petracco said people are littering their gloves in the street and that he has been picking them up in front of his deli, and it is all over the town. Scarpelli added that also the area near Nutley Park ShopRite has a lot of gloves and masks that people have thrown on the ground. “It’s not only rude, it’s littering; it’s helping to spread the virus. People just throw the gloves and masks in the trash receptacles or put them somewhere in your car and take them home and dispose of them,” said Scarpelli.
Revenue and Finance Commissioner Thomas J. Evans said the township was very successful on the bond sales for temporary notes. The bond sales rolled over to 1.43 percent interest, which is down four tenths of a percent from last year.
A public hearing was held for Ordinance No. 3440 introduced by Scarpelli on March 17. The approved ordinance, provides for reconstruction of the Grant Avenue Section 2 roadway, by appropriating $406,964 from the New Jersey Department of Transportation grant monies.
Resolution No, 75-20 was approved acknowledging that due to Gov. Phil Murphy state of emergency declaration on March 9 due to the pandemic, a contract may be awarded without public bidding regardless of the bid threshold in circumstances where an emergency affecting the public health, safety or welfare of the residents required the immediate delivery of goods or the performance of services. Emergency contracts awarded for purposes of Coronavirus response are exempted from Pay-to Play due to public emergency.
The township may be entitled to reimbursement of funds from the Federal Emergency Management Agency or FEMA programs as a result of COVID-19.
Millennium Strategies, LLC in Morristown was awarded a contract at a blended hourly rate of $180 per hour as a consultant to obtain FEMA grants and management and administrative professional services in seeking emergency appropriations from FEMA.
Viridian Environmental Consultants in Montclair was awarded a contract not to exceed $16,500 on Feb. 5, 2019 for preliminary assessment of Father Glotzbach Park. Charge Order No. 2 was approved for $13,095.98.
Amy Celento of Nutley asked if the residents could know how many people in the township have recovered. Scarpelli said that is something the state was not tracking and they are starting to track by County.
She also requested a PDF be sent out regarding voting by mail that a lot of residents are waiting to check their mail in fear of it being contaminated by the virus. It should be noted that the virus is reported to live on paper and cardboard for 24 hours.
She also said there was an Economic Advisory Committee and would like to see it start up again and do something to help the small businesses in town. Celento said the commissioners and the businesses should work together. “It would be a little bit more than encouraging people to order take-out and shop small on Saturdays for businesses that are open,” she said.
Evans said businesses should go through the NJEDA and that there are grant and loan programs available.
The next Board of Commissioners meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 21 via teleconference. To gain access to the meeting call 712-770-3637 and enter access code 881229.
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