CALDWELL, NJ — As of January, sewer services within the Borough of Caldwell will officially be paid through a separate charge and will no longer be paid as part of the property tax bill, according to an ordinance adopted in October. The borough council announced last week, the new criteria will be based on actual water consumption.

According to Mayor John Kelley, the principle of the ordinance is that most consumed water will go back into the sewer system, “except for that which is used to wash cars, or water laws as examples.”

For every 1,000 gallons of water used, fees are now set at a rate of $7.50, according to the ordinance. Additionally, fees will now be collected by not-for-profits such as Caldwell University, churches, synagogues and schools.

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The administration explained that because these entities are not subject to property-tax collection, they previously received only a surcharge for usage since they are not subject to property tax collection. However, the administration stated that those fees were not in proportion to usage at these locations, whereas billing will now be representative of actual usage.

“This will allow the total sewer cost to be absorbed by a larger pool of users,” said Kelley.

More information can be found on the borough’s website, and homeowners will be notified directly by mail in the coming week.

As the council moved through the regular agenda, a resolution was passed unanimously to retain Topology NJ, LLC for the drafting of redevelopment plans for “multiple sites in Caldwell” with fees not to exceed $60,000.

As stated in the contract, Topology will “work with borough leadership to define a vision for downtown redevelopment upon which a multi-district redevelopment plan will be crafted for the parcels” already determined.

Another resolution was passed unanimously in order to recognize the Caldwell Environmental Commission as the official Caldwell Green Team for the purposes of the Sustainable Jersey Municipal Program.

The borough also declared February 2020 as “Black History Month” in the Borough of Caldwell.

“In doing so, [Caldwell] will recognize and highlight the contributions of African-Americans and that [we] as a society pause and reflect upon the values of these contributions to all of us,” the resolution states.

The next borough council meeting will be held on Feb. 18.