SPRINGFIELD, NJ - Due to the Northeaster that hit New Jersey Tuesday, the budget hearings on the municipal budget scheduled for 2 p.m., 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. that day were postponed. The Township Committee meeting did go on as scheduled although some personnel were unable to attend and Township offices were closed due to the storm. City Administrator Ziad Shehady announced that the budget presentations to the public would be rescheduled before the April 18 deadline for submission.
After proclamations and the announcement the Township Committee went into Executive session for about twenty minutes to discuss contract negotiations and property issues.
Three ordinances were introduced for a first reading. First on the agenda was a hearing scheduled to be held on April 18 on establishing a Cap Bank, which is a way to earmark funds that are unspent under a 2% cap for 2017. A second ordinance adopts a redevelopment plan for Block 207, Lots 1 and 2. This will be heard on April 4. A third ordinance would increase the licensing fee from $35 per unit to $40 per unit for hotels and motels. The final hearing is scheduled for April 4.
A resolution to adopt the 2017 budget for the Springfield Community Partnership, the Business Improvement District (BID) was introduced. Scott Seidel spoke on behalf of the BID. He said BID was looking to hire a full time person based in Springfield to visit businesses, follow up on programs, etc.
Seidel went on to say that the $80,000 budgeted last year for signage was unspent. It is included in the 2017 budget with a $15,000 increase resulting in a total of $95,000 for way finding signs. The sign design has been picked out and they will be installed shortly. The budgeted amount for streetscape in 2016 was $350,000. That was spent on parts of Mountain Avenue and it is felt it has been very well received. An amount of $280,000 is budgeted for 2017 to spend near the Post Office, Alen’s Delicatessen and further down Mountain Avenue by Cioffi’s Restaurant & Pizzeria. The appropriation for the online presence, the BID App, was increased to $10,000 this year.
Chief Cook spoke of a program to combat the heroin epidemic in New Jersey. Three hospitals have banded together. They are Trinitas in Elizabeth, Robert Wood Johnson in New Brunswick and Overlook as part of Atlantic Health in Morristown. They will treat an overdose survivor brought in for free. Additionally, these hospitals will supply at no cost, Narcan, an antidote that works on overdose patients.
In announcements, Mayor Diane Stampoulos reminded everyone that the annual celebration of Springfest is coming up on April 8 from 1 to 3 p.m. at Chisholm Park. She said, “There will be music, a bounce house, face painting, an egg hunt. Remember to bring your own basket!”