SPRINGFIELD, NJ - Springfield residents showed up to the Township Committee meeting looking to discuss a new ordinance up for a vote Tuesday.
Ordinance 2018-12, which was passed at the meeting after public discussion, will amend the town’s general ordinance sub-section regarding construction and renovation site safety and fencing. The new ordinance places responsibility in the hands of the contractor to properly secure the construction site with a lockable fence to protect the health and safety of the public.
Other aspects of the ordinance change include rules for proper sanitation and cleanup at the construction or renovation site. One of the main concerns regarding the ordinance was it requires fencing around completed structures and in the process of doing so, passed an extra cost onto homeowners and contractors looking do start construction and renovation projects.
Clara Harelik, a former mayor of Springfield, was one of the residents who showed up to voice her displeasure with the proposed ordinance. She said that in her opinion, the ambiguity of what exactly was allowed and prohibited was concerning.
“Many comments were made this evening regarding why the ordinance shouldn’t have passed in the current form that it was in,” Harelik said. “Even the members of the Township Committee spoke to the fact that there are some ambiguities and, in my opinion, I’m very disappointed that it passed as is. I think the ordinance should have been tweaked to clear up the ambiguities.”
Township Committeewoman Maria Vassallo echoed Harelik’s statement and said that it was up to the Committee to find a workable solution to the issue at hand.
“Based on my experience here on the council the past few years, I feel like sometimes we put the cart before the horse when we look to write ordinances and we look to craft ordinances,” Vassallo said. “There have been other instances that I’ve come across while I’ve been here Where we have crafted ordinances that just don’t work for our residents, and in this case, it won’t work for our businesses.”
Vassallo added, “Before we craft an ordinance, I just want to make sure that we don’t have to go back and amend multiple times; that we make sure it’s right the first time rather than having issues and dragging out something that just costs more money for the taxpayers in the long term.”
In the resolution section of the agenda, the committee awarded contracts to Denbar construction for roadwork and resurfacing and Cifelli and Son as a general contractor for road improvement in town. As reported in yesterday’s workshop meeting, the committee also hired seasonal staff members at the community pool and appointed Daniel Hesse as a part-time Recreation Coordinator. Another agenda item from Monday’s workshop meeting was the change in sale hours on liquor, moving the start time up on purchases from noon to 9:30 a.m.
The next township committee meeting will be held on Tuesday, August 14 at 7 p.m. in the second floor meeting room of the Springfield Municipal Building.