RANDOLPH, NJ - After over a year of planning and perfecting, the Town Council voted to approve the Randolph Parks Master Plan for the next 10 years at the July 28 council meeting.

“This is a very, very important moment in Randolph history,” mayor Roman Hirniak said.

Town Manager Stephen Mountain expressed he was pleased by the planning process for the Master Plan. He believes it “touches on every need and demographic in the township.”

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Members of the Parks Master Plan steering committee have been developing and working on the plan for over a year and a half. Plans include repairs to existing parks, trail extensions and the construction of a 90-acre park on a township-owned property on Calais Road.

The council also nominated members to a Trails Master Plan steering committee to ensure that the trail expansion projects proceed efficiently. Trails throughout the township will be lengthened and connected for easier access from all neighborhoods.

Mountain and Parks Director Russ Newman presented several of the requested changes to the Master Plan budgeting and timing at the July 7 meeting in order to finalize before the vote.

“My concept was always let’s fix or maintain or improve what we already have, and I think this plan does much of that,” Councilman Jim Loveys stated, “The recognition of the need for different types of facilities is probably the most important thing that came out of this.”

Hirniak expressed that he wanted to break tradition and make the movement to accept the Parks Master Plan himself. The council passed the plan unanimously.

Morris County Freeholder Hank Lyons also presented the county budget to council members, mentioning that it was his first time presenting to the Randolph Council.

Lyons explained the issue of Morris View Healthcare Center as being one of the greatest issues facing Morris County. With the loss of state funding, many counties have sold their senior health care centers to privately-owned companies. Morris County is only one of five counties in New Jersey offering this service.

Despite the budget being presented to Randolph, Lyons did not provide Randolph-specific information. Councilmember Joanne Veech and Mayor Hirniak requested follow-up data regarding town ratables and tax increases to see how Randolph compares.