Government

South Orange Debates Need for New Emergency Shelter Space

February 3, 2014 at 9:27 PM

SOUTH ORANGE, NJ – Residents who must leave their homes due to prolonged power outages, flooding or other emergencies can take shelter in one of two designated sites in South Orange, the Baird Center or the South Orange Public Library.

The Board of Trustees debated whether the village needs another shelter site at a recent meeting after village President Alex Torpey, who also serves as the Office of Emergency Management coordinator, submitted a nine-page memo to the board for its review. It is also on the agenda for the Feb. 4 Public Safety Committee meeting.

Shelter space could be added to the new South Orange Rescue Squad building, which will be constructed next to the fire department on Sloan Street. The board is considering four options: a two-bay facility with and without a second story that could be used as an emergency shelter, and a three-bay option with and without a second story.

Sign Up for E-News

The board has discussed the plans in closed session but has not made public yet the final estimates for the project. Torpey, however, said that adding the second story, which could accommodate between 40 and 60 individuals depending on the final plans, would only add about 10 percent to the cost of the project.

The new space could be used not only as a shelter, but as a staging area in case of a larger-scale or regional emergency, according to Torpey. “There aren’t other municipal spaces that fit the bill,” he said.

Trustee Walter Clarke wanted to know how many individuals actually would need such a shelter. “That’s one pretty important question,” he said. “Given the relatively limited number of people we have to shelter, can we basically beef up the Baird Center and have the rollover go to the middle school?”

During recent emergencies, Trustee Sheena Collum noted, “people were very aware that we were operating a shelter but opted not to use (it) … they wanted power and warmth.”

She said the squad room would accommodate less than 1 percent of South Orange’s population. “That need has to be based on the demand and the overall cost,” she said.

According to the memo, using schools would not be an option when school is in session. In addition, there is almost no backup power in the school buildings in South Orange. These are also the problems with using the municipal library as a sheltering space, the memo stated.

“I’m not comfortable with any of the options that have been presented,” Trustee Mark Rosner said. He suggested that since the village now owns the South Orange Performing Arts Center, the SOPAC loft should be considered as a possible sheltering space.

Torpey said, “The question is: Do we need to provide better sheltering space for South Orange. If the answer is yes, this is going to be the only option that we’re going to have in the next decade.”

The current Rescue Squad facility will be torn down to make way for a retail-apartment complex at Third and Valley streets. The developer is contributing up to $1.1 million for the new Rescue Squad building as part of the development agreement. Read the story here.  

However, at a meeting Oct. 17, village Administrator Barry Lewis Jr. reported that estimates were “much, much, much higher than we were anticipating.” He said that costs “were significantly out of the budget we have established.”

Trustee Deborah Davis Ford recommended that the matter be referred to the Public Safety Committee. The committee meeting was rescheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 4 in order to accommodate her recommendation. The committee meeting is scheduled to be held on the third floor of 76 South Orange Ave., beginning at 6:30 p.m.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News

SOMA

Maplewood Police Blotter - Four Thefts Reported, Two at Wawa

January 18, 2017

January 11 - Theft; At approximately 2:30 p.m., a female customer had her wallet stolen from the QuickChek after leaving it on the counter.

January 11 - Theft; At approximately 4:45 p.m. a female shoplifted a purse from a store on Maplewood Ave.

January 13 - Theft; At approximately 10:00 p.m., an employee of Wawa had their cell phone that was left on the counter ...

South Orange Police Blotter - Home Burglary and Attempted Burglary on Same Day Reported

South Orange Police Blotter as of January 14

Burglary - A Duffield Dr. resident reported that sometime between 8:45 a.m. and 11 a.m., Wednesday, Jan. 11, actor(s) unknown entered her residence and removed several items, including silver candle stick holders. The Detective Bureau is investigating the incident.

Attempted Burglary - A Harding Dr. resident reported that sometime ...

South Orange Public Library Activities - Jan. 19 to Jan. 25

January 18, 2017

Children's Room

 

Friday, Jan. 20

 

10 am -Seton Stories

 

Monday, Jan.  23

 

3:30 pm - Minecraft -ages 7+

 

Tuesday, Jan. 24

 

11 am - Toddler Storytime

12 Noon - Homeschooling Social

 

Wednesday, Jan. 25

 

10 am - Babies Storytime

Adult ...

Community Coalition on Race MLK Observance Event Reminds SOMA Residents to Stand Together and Speak Out

The following is from the South Orange/Maplewood Community Coalition on Race

On Monday, January 16, the South Orange/Maplewood Community Coalition on Race hosted the 16th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Observance at Columbia High School in Maplewood for the first time. Hundreds of people of all ages filled the auditorium to honor Dr. King through music, a sharing of interfaith readings and ...

Temporary Ice Rink Installed in South Orange's Meadowland Park

The following is from the South Orange Department of Recreation and Cultural Affairs

South Orange Village has installed a temporary ice rink in Meadowland Park for the winter months inside the tennis court area adjacent to the Baird.

The rink is open to South Orange residents with a current Recreation Department Membership I.D. and their guests. The guest fee is $5 per person per day.

Upcoming Events

Thu, January 19, 10:30 AM

Walsh Gallery at Seton Hall University, South Orange

Learning to Fly

Arts & Entertainment

Carousel_image_dcd4869c222de7d05057_acg_womens_jan_19

Thu, January 19, 12:00 PM

Convene Midtown East, New York

ACG New York Women of Leadership Summit

Business & Finance Food & Drink

Fri, January 20, 10:30 AM

Walsh Gallery at Seton Hall University, South Orange

Learning to Fly

Arts & Entertainment

Women's March on Washington: Why, and Why Now

January 11, 2017

As Donald Trump’s inauguration draws near, a number of groups are planning various events and rallies – perhaps most notably, the Women’s March on Washington. I have read a number of opinion pieces and spoken to many people about the March, and several questions and criticisms seem to consistently arise. I would like to address two of the major themes.

(Q) The election is ...

Planning for Maplewood Village's Growth

In a few days, the Maplewood Planning Board will continue hearing an application to allow inclusion of a new restaurant in the Clarus Maplewood development. The restaurant is planned to be 4,000 square feet with seating for 150 or more at peak hours. The application brings to the fore both the excitement and challenges of improving commercial space in Maplewood Village.

Two significant related ...

Should You Wait Until Spring to Buy?

Should You Wait until Spring to Buy?

People love to talk about the Spring market, but should you wait until Spring to buy a home? For South Orange and Maplewood, the Spring market usually starts in late February. Here are the pros and cons.

Pros to Waiting:

Better selection. There are usually a greater number of homes available for sale in the Spring as opposed to other times ...

Joe Coletta, Lou Venezia and John Lee Franchise TAPinto Bloomfield

January 19, 2017

NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ, - TAPinto.net is pleased to announce the launch of TAPinto Bloomfield, under the leadership of franchisees Joe Coletta, Lou Venezia and John Lee. The site covers original local news in Bloomfield, NJ in Essex County. 

Joe Coletta is a Fire Captain in Bloomfield and has strong family ties to the community. He enjoys coaching or cheering on his three ...

Scotch Plains JCC Deemed Safe After Bomb Threat

January 18, 2017

SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ — The Jewish Community Center of Central New Jersey was closed for a short time after preschool began there Wednesday morning due to a bomb threat. A bomb squad swept the building for explosives and no bomb was found, according to Lt. Jeff Briel of the Scotch Plains Police Department.

“This is another in a series of bomb threats to JCCs up and down the ...

Just Pups of East Hanover Caught Smuggling Dogs into Store

EAST HANOVER, NJ- Just Pups located on Route 10 in East Hanover was recently caught illegally importing their dogs from Texas without the required medical paperwork on each puppy.

On the night of January 2, the East Hanover Police Department responded to a tip called into the New Jersey Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals that Just Pups owner, Vincent LoSacco, was smuggling ...

Road Trip! As New Brunswick Changes, the Corner Tavern Remains

January 4, 2017

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Vinnie Inzano has tended bar at the Corner Tavern since 1976, when his father bought the watering hole. He’ll probably continue tending bar there until it either closes or, only slightly less imaginable, a catastrophe wipes New Brunswick off the map.

At the intersection of Easton Avenue and Somerset Street, the Corner Tavern has welcomed travelers from the train ...

Congressman Donald M. Payne, Jr. to Boycott President-Elect Trump’s Inauguration

January 19, 2017

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Donald M. Payne, Jr. (NJ-10) issued the following statement today (Jan. 17) announcing his decision to boycott President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration:

“I have the deepest respect for the office of the presidency, something that cannot be said for President-elect Trump. His actions and statements have consistently been below ...

South Mountain YMCA Camps Host ‘Beach’ Parties on Jan. 21; Other Fun-Filled Reunions on Jan. 28

South Mountain YMCA Camps Host Jan. 21 ‘Beach’ Parties; other fun-filled reunions showcasing summer 2017 opportunities to be held Jan. 28

Take a break from the short days and frigid temperatures of winter and head to a beach party! On Jan. 21, the South Mountain YMCA camps are hosting free summer-themed celebrations so campers can reconnect and introduce other friends to the ...

SOMA Dems to Hold First Meeting on Jan. 18 at Ricalton's Village Tavern

SOMA Dems, a newly formed South Orange/Maplewood-based group focused on grassroots activism on behalf of important issues and electing progressive political candidates, will hold its initial organizing meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 18 at 7:30 p.m. The meeting will be held at Ricalton’s Village Tavern, 19 Valley Street in South Orange.

The purpose of the meeting will be to both ...

Maplewood Police Blotter - Four Thefts Reported, Two at Wawa

January 18, 2017

January 11 - Theft; At approximately 2:30 p.m., a female customer had her wallet stolen from the QuickChek after leaving it on the counter.

January 11 - Theft; At approximately 4:45 p.m. a female shoplifted a purse from a store on Maplewood Ave.

January 13 - Theft; At approximately 10:00 p.m., an employee of Wawa had their cell phone that was left on the counter ...

South Orange Police Blotter - Home Burglary and Attempted Burglary on Same Day Reported

South Orange Police Blotter as of January 14

Burglary - A Duffield Dr. resident reported that sometime between 8:45 a.m. and 11 a.m., Wednesday, Jan. 11, actor(s) unknown entered her residence and removed several items, including silver candle stick holders. The Detective Bureau is investigating the incident.

Attempted Burglary - A Harding Dr. resident reported that sometime ...

South Orange Public Library Activities - Jan. 19 to Jan. 25

January 18, 2017

Children's Room

 

Friday, Jan. 20

 

10 am -Seton Stories

 

Monday, Jan.  23

 

3:30 pm - Minecraft -ages 7+

 

Tuesday, Jan. 24

 

11 am - Toddler Storytime

12 Noon - Homeschooling Social

 

Wednesday, Jan. 25

 

10 am - Babies Storytime

Adult ...

Community Coalition on Race MLK Observance Event Reminds SOMA Residents to Stand Together and Speak Out

The following is from the South Orange/Maplewood Community Coalition on Race

On Monday, January 16, the South Orange/Maplewood Community Coalition on Race hosted the 16th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Observance at Columbia High School in Maplewood for the first time. Hundreds of people of all ages filled the auditorium to honor Dr. King through music, a sharing of interfaith readings and ...

Temporary Ice Rink Installed in South Orange's Meadowland Park

The following is from the South Orange Department of Recreation and Cultural Affairs

South Orange Village has installed a temporary ice rink in Meadowland Park for the winter months inside the tennis court area adjacent to the Baird.

The rink is open to South Orange residents with a current Recreation Department Membership I.D. and their guests. The guest fee is $5 per person per day.

Upcoming Events

Thu, January 19, 10:30 AM

Walsh Gallery at Seton Hall University, South Orange

Learning to Fly

Arts & Entertainment

Carousel_image_dcd4869c222de7d05057_acg_womens_jan_19

Thu, January 19, 12:00 PM

Convene Midtown East, New York

ACG New York Women of Leadership Summit

Business & Finance Food & Drink

Fri, January 20, 10:30 AM

Walsh Gallery at Seton Hall University, South Orange

Learning to Fly

Arts & Entertainment

Women's March on Washington: Why, and Why Now

January 11, 2017

As Donald Trump’s inauguration draws near, a number of groups are planning various events and rallies – perhaps most notably, the Women’s March on Washington. I have read a number of opinion pieces and spoken to many people about the March, and several questions and criticisms seem to consistently arise. I would like to address two of the major themes.

(Q) The election is ...

Planning for Maplewood Village's Growth

In a few days, the Maplewood Planning Board will continue hearing an application to allow inclusion of a new restaurant in the Clarus Maplewood development. The restaurant is planned to be 4,000 square feet with seating for 150 or more at peak hours. The application brings to the fore both the excitement and challenges of improving commercial space in Maplewood Village.

Two significant related ...

Should You Wait Until Spring to Buy?

Should You Wait until Spring to Buy?

People love to talk about the Spring market, but should you wait until Spring to buy a home? For South Orange and Maplewood, the Spring market usually starts in late February. Here are the pros and cons.

Pros to Waiting:

Better selection. There are usually a greater number of homes available for sale in the Spring as opposed to other times ...

Joe Coletta, Lou Venezia and John Lee Franchise TAPinto Bloomfield

January 19, 2017

NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ, - TAPinto.net is pleased to announce the launch of TAPinto Bloomfield, under the leadership of franchisees Joe Coletta, Lou Venezia and John Lee. The site covers original local news in Bloomfield, NJ in Essex County. 

Joe Coletta is a Fire Captain in Bloomfield and has strong family ties to the community. He enjoys coaching or cheering on his three ...

Scotch Plains JCC Deemed Safe After Bomb Threat

January 18, 2017

SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ — The Jewish Community Center of Central New Jersey was closed for a short time after preschool began there Wednesday morning due to a bomb threat. A bomb squad swept the building for explosives and no bomb was found, according to Lt. Jeff Briel of the Scotch Plains Police Department.

“This is another in a series of bomb threats to JCCs up and down the ...

Just Pups of East Hanover Caught Smuggling Dogs into Store

EAST HANOVER, NJ- Just Pups located on Route 10 in East Hanover was recently caught illegally importing their dogs from Texas without the required medical paperwork on each puppy.

On the night of January 2, the East Hanover Police Department responded to a tip called into the New Jersey Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals that Just Pups owner, Vincent LoSacco, was smuggling ...

Road Trip! As New Brunswick Changes, the Corner Tavern Remains

January 4, 2017

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Vinnie Inzano has tended bar at the Corner Tavern since 1976, when his father bought the watering hole. He’ll probably continue tending bar there until it either closes or, only slightly less imaginable, a catastrophe wipes New Brunswick off the map.

At the intersection of Easton Avenue and Somerset Street, the Corner Tavern has welcomed travelers from the train ...

Congressman Donald M. Payne, Jr. to Boycott President-Elect Trump’s Inauguration

January 19, 2017

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Donald M. Payne, Jr. (NJ-10) issued the following statement today (Jan. 17) announcing his decision to boycott President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration:

“I have the deepest respect for the office of the presidency, something that cannot be said for President-elect Trump. His actions and statements have consistently been below ...

South Mountain YMCA Camps Host ‘Beach’ Parties on Jan. 21; Other Fun-Filled Reunions on Jan. 28

South Mountain YMCA Camps Host Jan. 21 ‘Beach’ Parties; other fun-filled reunions showcasing summer 2017 opportunities to be held Jan. 28

Take a break from the short days and frigid temperatures of winter and head to a beach party! On Jan. 21, the South Mountain YMCA camps are hosting free summer-themed celebrations so campers can reconnect and introduce other friends to the ...

SOMA Dems to Hold First Meeting on Jan. 18 at Ricalton's Village Tavern

SOMA Dems, a newly formed South Orange/Maplewood-based group focused on grassroots activism on behalf of important issues and electing progressive political candidates, will hold its initial organizing meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 18 at 7:30 p.m. The meeting will be held at Ricalton’s Village Tavern, 19 Valley Street in South Orange.

The purpose of the meeting will be to both ...