FAIRFIELD, NJ — The Fairfield mayor and council tabled a proposed ordinance on Monday that would provide curb improvements and allow assessment of costs to property owners on Woodland Road and Pinewood Terrace. The revised ordinance will be introduced at the next council meeting on Monday, Aug. 27.
During the meeting, township residents expressed their concerns that the language of the ordinance was unclear. After listening to the residents, the governing body decided that the language of the ordinance should be revised.
As it was written, residents were under the impression that they had an option to have the curbing done individually, and that the total cost of $375,000 for the improvements was going to be divided among the homeowners. Fairfield Mayor James Gasparini and Township Administrator Joseph Catenaro clarified that neither of these would be true under the proposed ordinance, and that the re-written ordinance would better reflect that.
It was explained that the township would pay for the road improvements, while the homeowners would pay for the curbing. According to the council, the Belgium block curbing would cost the homeowner $29 per linear foot, with a 10-year option to pay. Homeowners will not have the option to install curbing individually to ensure that the township can control the quality and uniformity.
Tom Wendowski, a Woodland Road resident of many years, stated that the road improvements are definitely necessary, but questioned the need for curbing. Gasparini and Catenaro explained that the curbing is necessary because it maintains the integrity of the road keeping it in place.
Ken Dinolfo of Beverly Road was concerned with the language of the ordinance. He was unsure if the improvements would affect the assessed value of his house and questioned the bidding process.
Dinolfo was reassured that the homeowner would only be responsible for the Belgium block curbing and that the assessed value of his home would not increase due to the improvements. Catenaro explained that the project was put up for bid, and the township accepted the “lowest responsible bid” as is required by law. The contract was ultimately awarded to the Marini company.
Robert Guizio of Woodland Road was concerned about the cost of the curbing, stating that he is currently retired and that the curbing cost would be about $5,500. Neighbor John Hilaire also expressed concern that the new construction would eliminate the cul-de-sac at the end of Woodland.
“Cars and trucks, like the UPS trucks, use my driveway to make the turn back onto Fairfield Road,” he said. “Without the cul-de-sac, more drivers will be using my driveway.”
Hilaire also asked the governing body whether water pipes would be extended to the end of the road.
According to Hilaire, the water pipes currently only go three quarters of the way up the street. He said that if the road is going to be dug up, it would be a good idea to put the pipes in now. He added that if in the future the well water at his end of the street is found to be unfit for consumption, the water pipes would be there for hookup.
Any residents in the area are asked to direct their questions to Steven Bury, township engineer, at 973-882-2700 ext. 2504.
In other news, Councilman Thomas Morgan announced that the number of Fairfield Township pool memberships has declined by at least 10 percent. Morgan encouraged people to join, stating that the cost is the lowest in the area. Gasparini asked Morgan for a financial report to be presented at the next council meeting.
The council also introduced an ordinance that would amend the township code entitled “Off Duty Hourly Rates for Police Officers.” The rates have remained the same for the last nine years, according to the council.
The public hearing will be at the next council meeting on Monday, Aug. 27.
During this meeting, the council will also introduce an amendment to an ordinance concerning sheds. The ordinance will deal with sheds less than and more than 200 square feet, and will be consistent with the state regulations.