Michael Goldberg's Unofficial Recap of 4/8 Board of Trustees Meeting

South Orange Trustee, Michael Goldberg

The following is a brief unofficial recap of many items that occurred or were discussed at the April 8, 2013 BOT Meeting.  Official minutes will be posted online at www.southorange.org when they are available or the video can be viewed on-demand at southorange.org/videoViewer.asp


Lisa Hackett, Executive Director of the South Orange Village Center Alliance (SOVCA), introduced herself and shared an update on activities of the SOVCA:

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Meeting with Building Dept to review Ordinances to make South Orange more business-friendly
5 new business ribbon cuttings scheduled for April 27
Gateway (former Beifus site) groundbreaking scheduled for May 7
Recruiting tenants for Blockbuster space
2 part-time workers have been hired to focus on downtown cleanliness
CSO has been retired
GFest (car show) planned
Downtown After Sundown needs funding; seeking either one $15k sponsor or three $5k sponsors.
Farmers Market will be returning Wednesdays 2-7pm (starting in early June)
SOVillageCenter.org is fully functional
Town Hall Deli expecting to re-open within 3 weeks

Public Comments

Logan Williams - Proposed creating a skatepark

Ordinances on First Reading

Ordinance 2013-05 - Authorizing a PILOT of $570,000 for the 3rd/Valley site, passed 5-1 (I opposed on both process and principle:  This ordinance was never discussed publicly prior to the meeting, no disclosure of the tax implications were provided and the development project hasn't even gone before the Planning Board, yet, so it is premature to approve a financial agreement without knowing what the terms of project will be)


Resolutions for Special Action

Resolution 2013-71 - Delegating authority to the Purchasing Agent to award a contract for natural gas supply


3rd/Valley - in discussion with developer regarding Rescue Squad (focusing on site on 2nd St where trailers for Village Hall were going to be located)

Village Hall - looking at office space for relocation of staff during construction.  Asbestos Abatement - awaiting estimate

Capital projects - Turrell road project being reviewed by DOT; Thornden, Kingsland, Rynda and S. Ridgewood going out to bid next month.  Crest Circle and Blanchard are also scheduled for this Summer.

SOPAC - debt service on balance sheet impacts their ability to attract grants.  Village is planning to take ownership of building.


Village Counsel Updates

Occidental Litigation - awaiting fairness hearing that will occur in Fall

NextG - matter is still in Discovery

Lauryn Hill matter - Wednesday there is a hearing on Village's motion for default; landlord's action to evict tenant is also proceeding

EOWC - Finished first round of discovery; working to getting a consent order to resolve what EOWC will do to consistently deliver water with acceptable VOC limits.


Public Safety

Ordinance to prohibit parking on one-side of Western Drive will be listed for first reading at the next BOT meeting.
Next Public Safety Committee is April 10

Legal & Personnel

Deputy Administrator will be starting on Monday

Public Works

Trustee Bauer working on a job description for a property maintenance position for the Village


Playground next to pool is supposed to be completed this week
Pool is scheduled to open May 25.  Badges are available now at the Baird (and discounted until May 15)


Village Hall renovation - I provided an update on the current status of the Village Hall renovation project, which is currently estimated at approximately $7.1.  The Construction Manager is expected to present a formal update at an upcoming BOT Meeting.

State-issued "Additional Retail Privelege" license to Giorgio's Restaurant - Unionville Vineyards has applied to the state ABC to allow for new retail consumption license at Georgio's to sell NJ wines.  This is an existing provision of the ABC law that is eligible to any restaurant.  Anyone with comments or concerns should contact the State ABC Board.

Downtown after Sundown funding - SOVCA is looking to identify sponsors for the concerts downtown that start Memorial Day weekend.

For any questions or comments, please post below or email me at mgoldberg@southorange.org

This column features people from South Orange writing about a wide range of topics of interest to those in the community.  If you would like to contribute, contact David Lackey at dlackey@thealternativepress.com.

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of TAPinto.net or anyone who works for TAPinto.net. TAPinto.net is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer.

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