I hope this message finds you and your family healthy and safe. I would like to reassure the public that the city is continuing to provide essential services. Thank you to our police officers, firefighters, Division of Public Works employees, and all city staff for everything they are doing to keep the community safe and to maintain municipal services. While many of us are able to work from home, many city employees and first responders cannot. They are working long days behind the scenes at City Hall, in other city facilities, or out and about in the community. I appreciate the professionalism and dedication they bring to protecting the health and safety of our community and sincerely thank them for it. 

The next Common Council meeting will be held on Tuesday, April 14 at 6:30PM. This will be our second meeting since the stay at home order began and, once again members of the public will be able to view by remote access. Members of Common Council, Mayor Radest, and city staff will be participating electronically in this meeting. 

Every Common Council meeting is broadcast live on HTTV Verizon channel 30 and Comcast channels 36 and 34. The meeting will also be broadcast live on the City of Summit YouTube Channel. 

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To provide for public input, Common Council will accept comments and questions in advance of the meeting and during the meeting by email at cityclerk@cityofsummit.org. To have a question read during the meeting, the full name of the sender must be listed in the body of the email. If possible, include a few words indicating the topic of the question or comment in the subject line of the email. Only emails properly identified with the full name of the sender will be read publicly during the meeting.

We will have a brief presentation from our Office of Emergency Management on the City’s COVID-19 response. 

The most important business at the meeting will be to address Summit’s 2020 budget. Council will hear a resolution to move the date for the hearing and adoption of the 2020 Municipal Budget, as well as budgets for the Parking Utility, Sewer Utility, and Summit Downtown Inc. to May 26, 2020. The State of New Jersey has extended the deadline for the adoption of municipal budgets until the end of May. As this is an unprecedented situation with rapidly changing conditions, the delay will allow Common Council to adopt a budget with the most current information available and to allow for greater public participation. At this meeting, council will authorize temporary appropriations to keep the city running until the 2020 budget is adopted on May 26. State law requires the city to use “emergency temporary appropriations” to fund government operations before the budget is adopted.

In other matters, council will introduce one ordinance to amend the Development Regulations Ordinance to clarify that the clinical development and commercial production of chimeric antigen receptor t-cell therapy, known as CAR-T is a permitted use in the Planned Research Office Development (PROD) zone. This cancer therapy at the West Campus of Bristol-Myers Squibb does not involve patient treatment at the site. The Planning Board will make a consistency determination at its meeting on April 27 and the council will hold a hearing on this ordinance on May 12. 

The Capital Projects and Community Services Committee will introduce two resolutions to authorize change orders for the City Hall air conditioning project to authorize increased costs as a result of deterioration of the air conditioning system. These conditions were revealed during the cooling tower and chiller replacement work and will result in cost increases of $5,285.33 and $42,564.81, respectively. Funding for these changes is available in the 2019 Capital budget.  

The Community Programs and Parking Services Committee will introduce a resolution authorizing a change order for the Community Center renovation for earth work, temporary fencing, and temporary heating during the project totaling $42,029.05. Funding is available in existing capital accounts. 

The Safety and Health Committee will introduce a resolution to extend the 2020 animal license renewal deadline to August 31, 2020 at the recommendation of the Board of Health Registrar. Ordinarily, animal licenses expire on May 31, but because of the stay at home order, some pet owners may be unable to get their pets’ rabies vaccinations updated in a timely manner. 

Lastly, there are two Law and Labor resolutions (1) to extend sick leave with pay for one employee of the Office of the City Clerk and (2) to authorize the execution of an agreement to settle a matter in litigation.

To view the complete Common Council agenda, go to http://summitcitynj.iqm2.com/citizens/FileOpen.aspx?Type=14&ID=1582&Inline=True
Next Council Meeting: Tuesday, April 28, 2020.