WOODLAND PARK, NJ - Council members introduced a bond ordinance to authorize the acquisition of self-contained breathing apparatus equipment for the use of the volunteer fire department in the amount of $520,000 at its Wednesday night meeting.
The safety equipment, which is worn by all fire department members in the borough, is set to expire by the end of this calendar year, according to Mayor Keith Kazmark. He thanked Fire Chief Paul Salomone for his efforts in meeting with the various vendors in providing this new equipment.
"Chief Salomone got the best possible price," Kazmark said. "We are actually trading in the previous equipment for credit, which should reduce the amount needed to expend on for this particular equipment. It is a significant price tag. But you can't out a price on the safety of the men and women who volunteer in this town."
The ordinance will be further considered for final passage at the next council meeting on Dec. 21.
Also introduced was an ordinance to amend a utilities ordinance, which will differentiate between residential and commercial buildings in the municipality when it comes to water standby.
"There are a number of buildings in the municipality which have been built years back so when these ordinances were generated they were only applicable to commercial buildings for fire suppression," Kazmark said. "Now that there are townhouses and condominiums, those fees need to be separated, making it less expensive. It's a two-fold benefit because it will protect the borough during those times of dry events and also in terms of commercial versus residential fees with regard to water standby."
Kazmark also reported on a $15,000 grant from Cablevision to update the video camera system located in the council chambers."
This came in when we renegotiated their contract earlier this year and will go towards replacing the camera system, which is on its last leg," he noted.
Additionally he said that plans are in the works to ensure that the entire borough is eligible to receive Verizon, to ensure competition among cable providers for the borough. Currently, only half the town is wired to receive the carrier.
"I'm gong to ask that we prepare a resolution making necessary improvements for 2017, not only to complete the first phases at the Four Seasons at Great Notch, but to be able to properly wire the town to be able to offer Verizon to everybody," he said.
Kevin Galland, municipal clerk, reported on the schedule of closing out the borough's financial statements for 2016, annual debt statement, and the anticipated yearly audit, compiled over the course of the next month.
"We know where we stand as far as 2016 numbers and wish lists are being generated for 2017," he said, adding that the council will have final numbers for the year shortly.
Kazmark said that some time around the council's reorganization meeting in January is when the council should know the borough's year-end numbers in preparing for the upcoming budget process.
He also added that a series of construction permits have also come in for the upcoming construction of Christmas Tree Shops and That! and World Market in the former A&P location over the last few weeks.
"We are in the neighborhood of $90,000 to $100,000 worth of fees. The fact that they came in before the end of the year, we we need to look at that as we being to prepare for 2017," Kazmark said.
- Councilman Gary Holloway reported on awaiting a zoning map for the borough's master plan, in the works for the past two years. Zoning changes are planned to accommodate a more adaptable and business friendly environment to the downtown section of McBride Avenue. The plan stems from the state's Central Business Development zoning for business districts.
Also in the works is fulfilling the state's mandate for COAH, affordable housing, currently being reviewed by the courts for some local municipalities.
"We're waiting to hear back on COAH before we can move forward with the master plan," said Hollloway.
He also praised the Woodland Park Business Association raising $1,200 in the form of gift cards which will go to needy families in the borough.
- Councilman Vincent DeCesare reported on public works upgrades still in progress, entailing the snack stand at Memorial School and Zaccaria Park improvements, slated to be completed by the spring. He also added that a town engineer will be doing an evaluation of Haverhill Avenue, as multiple water main breaks have occurred there. The town engineer will be looking to potentially replace the whole line and will make a determination on how to move forward by the spring.
- Council President Joseph Spinelli welcomed Police Chief Anthony Galietti back to work after a medical leave. He also reported that the local fire department will hold its annual collection on Dec. 12 at Fire Company No. 1. He also thanked the borough's first aid squad for hosting the "Stigma-Free" initiative held at the First Aid Building.
- Kazmark also spoke of the upcoming committee appointment for the 2017 calendar year and welcomed residents who make be interested in joining a committee.
- 'I'll consider anybody interested in stepping up this January," he said, encouraging residents to contact him to be considered for any openings.