RANDOLPH, NJ- Township Manager Stephen Mountain updated the council on a few projects. The first reviewed was Sussex Turnpike, both the township's waterline project and the county's project. The town's waterline project is coming to a close. The contractor is actively working to complete his work.
The next phase of the project, the Church Road to Harvey Terrace intersection, is part of a funding request. That piece of the project was strategically left out because they did not want to tie up the whole roadway with construction at the same time the county was working on the location.
The county project, which is in the same area, is moving forward very aggressively so much so that it is prompting part of the project the town needs to complete. Because of the pace of the project and the convenient weather, the contractor is at or even ahead of schedule and might be completed before the original scheduled date of January 2017, according to reports.
The project will now start to slow down with the real cold weather for about six to eight weeks. They will continue to work on the utility pole relocation and other things they can do as long as the weather does not get too bad. Then they will continue down between Millbrook, Brookside and Hanover Avenue, which is the largest part of the project.
"On a related note, this really pertains to the activity of private businesses there so I really don't want to go into too much detail on the record. We have been working with a couple of businesses there that are affected by the project. The wine cellar in particular," said Mountain.
The two are continuing to meet to try and come up with alternatives to the challenges that the roadway changes have presented them. Mountain hopes a happy ending will come to the business owners' concerns. However, it is an ongoing challenge that has not had a resolution.
"We met earlier last week and I I found it to be very positive," said Mountain.
Manager Mountain also discussed the Mac Spar Drive special sewer extension assessment project. Mountain already mentioned that residents had concerns about the project. A meeting was held again giving residents the opportunity to hear the details of the project and answer any questions they may have.
"The key piece of information is that there is a deadline for them to provide a response on easements," said Mountain.
The deadline is the end of January. A letter will go out to all the residents advising them of this deadline. The letter will also provide all the information given at the last meeting.
The project requires 100% of the easements in order for the project to move forward, which has been a harder than anticipated challenge. If the project does not receive all the required easements then the town must abandon it.
Mountain continued by talking about a pre-construction meeting with the contractor hired for the demolition of the EA Porter building. The contractor is on track to complete the demolition work by March. Mountain hopes that they can move to the next phase by June, which is the site improvement phase. That phase will require a different contractor to remove and replace the soil. The town needs to put in place site improvements then essentially turn it over to Habitat for Humanity to build the affordable housing units on.
The better part of this and next year will be dedicated to the site plans and then in 2018 Habitat for Humanity will start their housing project.
The last thing reviewed was the Parks Master Plan. The committee has been working diligently with the consultant. Currently, they are trying to prioritize the recommendations that have resulted from public input. There next meeting will be January 21.
"They're looking at those recommendations in terms of prior authorization and cost impact. I'm trying to work with the staff by putting together a reasonable financial plan for the 10 year recommendations," said Mountain.
If all goes well then the consultant can publicly present a draft of the plan by February or March.
During council comments, Councilman Mark Forstenhausler wanted to share that the Health Department has the Shingles Vaccine. Anyone who has had Chicken Pox as a child is susceptible to the Shingles. The vaccine is available for no fee to those who are uninsured or underinsured. Anyone with questions should contact the Health Department.
Councilwoman Joanne Veech also shared a little news. There were recently two teens at one of the town parks who were tampering with the security cameras on site. These two teens used a basketball to possibly knock down the cameras. Upon doing so, the hit from the ball angled the camera straight at one of the teen's car.
The police has been involved and there is talk about proceeding with legal charges.
On Tuesday, January 5 , Mayor Roman Hirniak joined the Randolph Girl Scout Community at a celebration recognizing bronze, silver and gold award winners.
"One of the great benefits Girl Scouts bring to our community is the opportunity for a young lady to learn how to be a leader; not only within our community as they grow up, but also down the road when they become adults. It occurred to me that many young ladies in that room will at some point, in the not so distant future, be sitting at a table like this, in an elected position by virtue of the experience that they had in the Girl Scout community. It is a great achievement for them to reach the highest level, the gold award," said Mayor Hirniak.
Several young ladies were honored that evening, one of those ladies could not be there that night. Jillian Whiting joined the mayor and the rest of the council on Thursday, January 14, to receive her Gold Award Proclamation.
Whiting is a Randolph High School graduate, class of 2015. She is currently studying Environmental Engineering at Cornell University.
Whiting's award winning project for the Girl Scout community was inspired by the Interfaith Food Pantry in Morristown. The pantry recently put together a garden and needed cold frames so they could extend the growing season beginning March until November.
"I decided I wanted to build them, but my environmental engineering side wanted to do it in a sustainable way. I decided to collect old windows from friends and family. I got recycled, discarded wood and built the body with the wood and put the window on top. It can be propped open or closed, which extends the growing season," said Whiting.
Whiting built two cold frames for the Interfaith Food Pantry and another two for the Ironia School garden.
Mayor Hirniak read Whiting's proclamation.