Since the last regular council meeting, Summit has continued its reopening in a safe and thoughtful manner. Common Council held a special meeting on June 29, where 11 measures to create outdoor dining spaces were approved, including dining on closed portions of Maple Street, six parklets, and two additional sidewalk cafes. Summit now has a total of 29 outdoor dining locations. You can find a map of those locations here. In addition, the Summit Family Aquatic Center reopened on July 1 and the Department of Community Programs camp will start on July 6. The Department of Community Programs special events, including movies and concerts on the green will begin on July 9 and July 14, respectively. Visit www.summitcommunityprograms.com for more information. Playgrounds are reopening, and tennis courts and the municipal golf course continue to operate. Finally, the Transfer Station has resumed its normal pre-COVID 19 hours. Please continue the great work of social distancing and mask wearing when you are in public to protect your fellow residents and to ensure that Summit can stay open.
The next Common Council meeting will be held on Wednesday, July 8 at 7:30PM. Members of Common Council, Mayor Radest, and city staff will participate electronically in this meeting. For this and all future electronic meetings, members of the public will be able to comment by video or audio conference. The access codes and instructions for public comment on the Zoom platform are posted on the city website.
Every Common Council meeting is broadcast live on HTTV Verizon channel 30 and Comcast channel 36 and 34. The meeting will also be broadcast live on the City of Summit YouTube Channel.
At the July 8 meeting, Council will hold public hearings and vote on nine ordinances that were introduced at the June 23 meeting.
The Finance Committee will introduce four ordinances for hearing and final consideration. The first ordinance appropriates $4,225,000 and authorizes the issuance of $4,023,000 in bonds or notes. This bond ordinance authorizes the issuance of bonds or notes to finance the projects in the city’s Capital plan, which was adopted at the June 9 meeting as a part of the 2020 Municipal Budget. This ordinance is passed each year following the adoption of the 2020 Municipal Budget and allows bond counsel to issue bonds or notes when it is financially advantageous for the city to do so. For each capital project, with the exception of a few smaller projects completed in house, council must pass a resolution to authorize the award of a contract for the project. The second bond ordinance appropriates $710,000 and authorizes the issuance of the same amount for sewer utility improvements. Once again, bonds will be issued when it is financially advantageous and council will vote to authorize the award of a contract for any sewer authority capital project.
A third Finance ordinance will appropriate $380,000 from the Parking Utility Capital Improvement Fund for the rehabilitation of the Broad Street Garage. These funds are currently available in the Parking Utility Capital Fund, so no borrowing of funds is necessary. This essential maintenance work is being completed now while the Broad Street Garage is not in use, which will significantly reduce the cost of the project by eliminating the need to work on weekends and evenings.
The fourth and final Finance ordinance establishes the salary ranges for all city employees. This ordinance is introduced annually following the passage of the municipal budget. This ordinance does not award step increases or cost of living increases for individual city employees.
The Safety Committee will introduce four ordinances for hearing and final consideration. The first ordinance amends the city code to limit the parking on the west side of Waldron Avenue to two hours and to prohibit parking on the east side of Waldron Avenue. This ordinance is in response to a petition from residents of Waldron Avenue to address the use of their street for parking by commuters and shoppers, thus narrowing the street and making it difficult to exit driveways safely. Three ordinances authorize the addition of stop signs to reduce motor vehicle accidents and enhance pedestrian safety:
(1) creating four-way traffic stops at three intersections at Tulip Street and Ashland Road, Tulip Street and Prospect Street, and Maple Avenue and Ashland Road; (2) installing a stop sign at the previously uncontrolled intersection of Cleveland Road and Windsor Road; and (3) installing a stop sign at the intersection of Wallace Road and Rose Lane.
Finally, the Capital Projects and Community Services Committee will introduce a single ordinance for hearing and final consideration to authorize the public bidding to lease the City property at 7 Cedar Street.
Council will vote on four resolutions from the Capital Projects and Community Services Committee.
The first would authorize the execution of an agreement with the redeveloper, Broad Street West Managers I, LLC, to allow the redeveloper access to city property for the purpose of inspection prior to the purchase of city-owned property for the redevelopment project. This is one step in the current negotiations of a redevelopment agreement between the city and the redeveloper. The city and the redeveloper will present plans to residents for input before an agreement governing the scope of the project is finalized. The second resolution authorizes the Boy Scouts to hold a clean up at Martin’s Brook Park in September. Summit’s Earth Day Clean Up was postponed in April because of the health emergency. The city appreciates the work of the scouts to help keep the parks clean. Third, council will vote on a resolution to authorize a shared services agreement with Union County to allow the City of Summit Housing Authority to receive funding through community development block grants. Finally, council will vote to appoint a student member to the Recycling Advisory Committee.
The Community Programs and Parking Services Committee will also introduce four resolutions. Council will consider adding GRACE (Giving and Receiving Assistance for our Community Essentials) to the city’s insurance. GRACE is a volunteer non-profit organization run through the Junior League that provides fresh and shelf stable food, toiletries, and household supplies for approximately 500 Summit families each week, including a number of seniors. Before the health emergency, GRACE served about 120 families each week. GRACE is in the process of becoming a stand alone non-profit, independent of the Junior League, and will therefore need insurance coverage. GRACE serves city residents with locations at Cornog Field House and the Summit Community Center, and has worked collaboratively with the Summit Department of Community Programs staff. GRACE will remain financially independent of the city, but this insurance coverage will allow GRACE to continue to serve Summit’s most vulnerable residents. Adding GRACE to the city’s insurance policy will increase the costs of the policy for the city by $500 annually. Third, council will vote on a resolution to establish Silver Summit Senior Citizens Advisory Committee and to appoint members to the Committee. The Silver Summit Committee is intended to address the needs of Summit’s senior citizens by coordinating the non-profit and volunteer organizations operating in Summit and by creating or enhancing the support network for Summit seniors. The pandemic has contributed to increased isolation, food insecurity, and gaps in the safety net for some of Summit’s senior residents and this committee will assist in marshalling the resources in the community to address these needs. Council is seeking two senior citizens to serve on the committee and those who are interested should complete a volunteer application. Finally, council will consider a resolution to suspend the contract for valet parking at the Broad Street East Lot with Parking Services Plus because use of the city commuter lots has decreased as a result of the health emergency. This is the second contract suspension, which will continue until October 31, 2020. The contract will be extended an equal amount of time to the suspension, until June 30, 2021. The two contract suspensions have saved the City $67,485.
To view the complete Common Council agenda, go to https://www.cityofsummit.org/AgendaCenter/ViewFile/Agenda/_07082020-754?html=true.
Next Common Council Meeting: Tuesday, July 28, 2020.