MAPLEWOOD, NJ - Taxes for 2017 were the predominant issue discussed at the Maplewood Township Committee Meeting on May 1.

Maplewood Mayor Vic DeLuca opened the meeting by presenting a proclamation declaring May as Older Americans Month 2017. Members of several senior advisory committees attended the meeting to applaud the town’s action.

Greg Lembrich of the Maplewood Township Committee followed this proclamation by presenting a new policy that prevents Maplewood residents from serving on more than one town committee at a time. As a result, Michael Summersgill was removed from the Community Swimming Pool Committee in order to retain his position on the Senior Advisory Committee.

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Ena Onami, a 3-year resident of Maplewood, was appointed to chair of the Historic Preservation Commission. DeLuca commented on the process of fielding candidates for the role.

“We keep all submitted township volunteer recruitment forms, and when a position opens we use them to find likely candidates,” said DeLuca. “We found [Ena] through those forms, so you’re a good poster candidate for the value of those forms.”

Taxes and Board of Health

The Township Committee also presented the Special Improvement District budgets for Maplewood Village and Springfield Avenue. A total of $106,865 was allocated for the Maplewood Village Alliance, while $214, 662 was announced for the Springfield Avenue Partnership.

A general tax increase of 25 percent for various sections of Maplewood was discussed, but a tax assessor explained why generating an average tax increase for the town is difficult.

“Residential properties are assessed on what they sell for, but commercial properties are assessed on leases, market value, capital returns and several other categories,” said the tax assessor.

The Board of Health also commented that the first annual Drug Take-Back Day was a very successful venture. They reported that over 75 pounds of prescription drugs had been collected and incinerated in an effort to curb opioid abuse.

The Maplewood Township Committee will meet again on May 16 at 7 p.m. in the Maplewood Municipal Building.