SPRINGFIELD, NJ – The Township Committee meeting highlights included a police department promotion, addition and retirement; announcing the Mountain Avenue bridge will open Wednesday afternoon toward the end of the day; citizens asking the Township Committee to vote against the Pilgrim Pipeline; and a discussion  of the Springfield Free Public Library’s funding.

The Mountain Avenue Bridge will open toward the end of the day Wednesday January 25 according to Assistant Engineer Mardini.

Officer Anthony Voorhees was promoted to the rank of Detective in the Investigation Division of the Springfield Police Department.  He was sworn in by Mayor Stampoulus with his family by his side.  Vorhees joined the department in 2005.

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Anthony S. Kassis joined the Springfield Police Department as its newest Officer about two weeks ago according to Chief Cook.  He was sworn in by Mayor Stampoulus with his family by his side.

Chief Cook noted how qualified both men are to fill their roles.  He then recognized and honored Sergeant Joseph Cieri who is retiring February 1 after spending 21 years on Springfield’s Police Department following six years with the Union County force.  Like his father and grandfather he spent most of his career in public service.  One of his last major assignments was being given the role of Department Liaison with the PGA Golf Championship at Baltusrol Golf Club last summer.  He is moving to the private sector and will be Director of Security at Liberty National.

During public comments at the end of the meeting, five citizens came forward in opposition to the Pilgrim Pipeline and to ask the Township Committee to approve a resolution also opposing the pipeline.  The Township Clerk was given envelopes for each Committee member with copies of petitions containing 89 signatures and a proposed resolution. One of the citizens noted a similar request was made last year but it was not acted on.  They speculated that may have been because the pipeline’s projected route does not go through Springfield.  Committee members said they would look at it.  The proposed route does go through Westfield and Cranford.  The entire proposed route for the pipeline takes it from Albany New York to refineries in New Jersey. 

Concerns about Springfield Free Public Library funding were raised by a citizen as a result of a recent visit to the Library.  Township Administrator Shehady said funds to the Library have not been cut back in recent years and will not be cut back this year.  He went on to say the Library gets about $800,000 a year based on a state formula and that the Township provides and additional $250,000 in the form of additional funds and costs they absorb.  Township Committeewoman Bujnowski stated the Library gets $85,000 a month to spend as they deem appropriate.

Adam Lieb, Director of Recreation, gave the Recreation Department’s report.  Two things we highlight are the summer job opportunities now available with the department.  Applications should be made online.  The second is the expectation that new lights at Chisholm Park will be in place in time for recreational girls softball program this spring.  Township Committeeman Huber commented on the importance of making sure all the neighbors affected get personal attention before the first game.

Robert Boettcher, Department of Public Works, reported there was no damage or flooding as a result of the recent nor’easter.  He did say there were lots of limbs down and other debris and that there would be curbside pickup for the next two weeks.  Regarding winter weather, there has been only one day that required a full plowing of the town and two days that required salting.  To date, about 120 tons of salt have been used with over 300 tons still available.  Two new trucks with plows were purchased and are in use and an old 2003 dump truck with salt spreader will be auctioned off on a government site.  He also announced there will be a Shredding Day at the Community Pool on May 6 and a Hazardous Waste Day there on May 7.

Aside from announcing the bridge opening, Mardini said Tesla has opened its site on Rt.  22 and Chipolte have its preconstruction meeting in March.

The next Township Committee meeting is scheduled for February 14 at 7:00 p.m.