SPRINGFIELD, NJ – The municipal pool and affordable housing were two of the many issues addressed at Springfield Township Committee’s meeting on April 18.
For the municipal pool a resolution to award a Professional Services Contract to Cornerstone Architectural Group LLC for providing architectural and engineering specs was approved. It is for rebuilding the municipal pool. The awarding of the $100,000 contract is the first step of what is expected to be a $1.8 million project not including the spray park and other soft costs.
That sparked a discussion led by Township Business Administrator Ziad Shehady. Mr. Shehady laid out two scenarios by asking the question, “Should we rush it and get it started for September or do we want to relax it and start in 2018?” He then gave his answer, “My feeling is it can be done in 2017, but it would be a tight timeline.” Under public comments former Mayor Jerry Fernandez said, “Now is the time to get this moving, it has been discussed for at least four years.”
Attorney Bruce Bergen was present to discuss the second reading of the Ordinance to bring the Township into compliance with the Affordable Housing Plan. It was coupled with a resolution that updates and amends various prior actions by the Township Committee and enacts certain new policies. Mr. Bergen said that this will bring Springfield is into compliance, “The passing of these two documents together answer all the questions and a final declaratory judgment when it is issued should protect us until July of 2025.”
Director of Recreation Adam Leib updated the committee on preparations for the spring season. The pool opens in six weeks. On line registration is available for the pool, summer camps, etc. The seven light poles have been installed at Chisholm Field and it should be ready for softball season. He then reported on the many events the seniors have this month including trips to Atlantic City and the Turtle Back Zoo.
Director of the Department of Public Works Robert Boettcher mentioned that Arbor Day will be celebrated on April 28 at 10 a.m. at Veteran’s Park. A tree will be planted and one thousand seedlings will be handed out. He went on to describe the sidewalk projects. One thousand three hundred and eighty slabs have been replaced along with asphalt replacement.
Under his department report Business Administrator Shehady mentioned that an additional police officer will be hired and there will be one promotion to Sergeant. He would also like to try reviewing municipal ordinances and said, “A lot of things need to be updated. We should look at a wholesale revision of ordinances.” The priority would be to look at those sections that most affect day to day operations first.
In other business the budget was adopted with no discussion from the Township Committee or public.
A few items were pulled from the Consent Agenda including a Resolution to declare the Township of Springfield a ‘Stigma Free Zone’. Springfield is the second municipality in Union County to approve this after Plainfield. Township Committeewoman Erica DuBois said, “This a passion of mine, we need to let people know that those who struggle do not have to struggle alone.”
Earlier in the meeting Proclamations were done for Preeclampsia Awareness month, Arbor Day and Clean Communities Day. Many members of the American Legion attended to present the awards for the Coloring contest. Donald Schwerdt was presented with the Longevity Award for 60 years as a member of the American Legion.
In public comments, Wendy Jones approached the podium to express her distress that the governing body did not vote on a resolution to protest the building of the Pilgrim Pipeline. Two other residents approached the governing body with the same concern.
A resident of Short Hills Avenue spoke about traffic concerns on Short Hills Avenue and asked to have the name of a contractor provided so that the neighbors could try to contact that company to put traffic calming measures on the street. It was decided that the City Administrator and Police Chief John Cook would meet with him.
Hope Rosenberg testified that the Township should revisit the procedures in issuing a certificate of occupancy in a home sale. Currently, the Township does not require that the open permits be closed out. There was agreement to look into this issue.