WEST CALDWELL, NJ - West Caldwell Mayor Joseph Tempesta and members of the council discussed the need to gradually expand the supports and programming for senior citizens residing in the community at Tuesday night's township council meeting.

Councilman Michael Crudele spoke of the desire for more seniors to take advantage of the busing offered to the township’s seniors, as data indicated that the service by West Caldwell residents was underutilized. In a shared-service agreement with the boroughs of Roseland and Caldwell convenience, free bus service is available to senior residents.

Tempesta suggested that as the council prepares for next year’s budget, the council should consider that “America’s greatest generation deserves more of a subsidy from us."

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"Consideration should be given to adding $5,000 to $10,000 to that line item, which would be less than a 25-cent increase, and most taxpayers would be okay with that,” said Tempesta. 

During committee reports, Councilman Stanley Hladik noted that a proposed resolution to authorize estimated tax bills for the third quarter was necessary because the required certified rate figures from Essex County were not available yet. Final numbers for new school aid figures based upon the recently adopted state budget are still in the process of being revised by the New Jersey Department of Education Office of School Finance and have not been announced yet, according to the council Therefore, only estimated tax bills will be available at this time. 

“I am not expecting any magic coming to our district, but it would be like Christmas in July," Tempesta said.

Hladik also initiated a discussion regarding the need for a feasibility study to begin the due diligence as to whether a new municipal building will be considered.

“It was time to get some drawings,” said Hladik, noting that an allocation was already in the current budget for such a study

Tempesta stated that there were many areas to consider, such as usage and whether or not the school district would be involved, as additional funding might be available, and also whether Green Acres involvement and approval would be necessary.

The council unanimously agreed to move forward with the feasibility study.  Councilman Stephen Wolsky said,

“This is for our community’s future, a generational investment that will last at least 50 years,” said Councilman Stephen Wolsky.

"We are here to plan for our future just as our forefathers did for us,” said Tempesta.

Councilwoman Kathy Canale reported that the township's concert schedule is in its third week and that many area residents enjoyed the recent July 4th fireworks display.

Councilman Joseph Cecere reminded residents that the library has programming for all ages, from tots to teens this summer. He also said he will serve as a judge at the upcoming pie-baking contest on July 17. Members of the council and Mayor Tempesta offered their assistance and noted their availability for the event.

The next council meeting will be held on Aug. 14.