SOUTH ORANGE, NJ – The village took the first steps in encouraging more restaurants to offer outdoor dining by introducing changes in rules and proposing to suspend the application fee temporarily.

Under the new rules, restaurants could leave tables and chairs out overnight provided the furniture is securely fastened. Restaurants would not be allowed to bolt furniture to the sidewalks. In addition, the application fee to offer outdoor dining would be suspended until June 1 to encourage restaurants to file applications for outdoor dining.

The Board of Trustees voted unanimously at Monday night's meeting to introduce ordinances making those changes. A public hearing is scheduled for May 19.

Sign Up for E-News

The trustees also voted to amend the requirements governing which contractors can apply to be prequalified to bid on the job of renovating Village Hall.

Village Administrator Barry Lewis Jr. said the architect on the project had been contacted by a number of contractors that could not meet the requirement regarding the scope of previous projects.

“They expressed concern that they were not eligible (and the requirement) was prohibitive,” Lewis said. “Because of the economy, they had not had jobs that big.”

Lewis said that by amending the regulations to lower that threshold, the village would have a larger pool of applicants. “This should enhance competition (and lead to) more advantageous bids for the village,” he said.

In other action, the board:

  • Appointed Melanie Troncone as the village’s animal control officer. She replaces Dick Ash, who retired after 42 years as a village employee. Her annual salary will be $35,000.
  • Affirmed the appointment of Steven Hollow as a full-time information technology technician. He had been a part-time employee. “The additional cost is more than offset by additional revenue from Maplewood,” Lewis said. Maplewood contracts with South Orange for IT services. His annual salary will be $45,000.
  • Affirmed the appointment of Louis G. Casagrande as pool manager and Marc Calello as assistant pool manager for a salary of $10,000 and $9,000, respectively.
  • Voted to ask Essex County to paint Scotland Road crosswalks at the following locations: Harrison Court, Irving Avenue, Turrell Avenue, Ralston Avenue and Connett Place.