CALDWELL, NJ — A resolution to direct Caldwell’s planning board to conduct a study on whether certain areas within the borough meet the criteria for either rehabilitation or redevelopment was introduced at Tuesday’s council meeting. 

According to Caldwell Mayor Ann Dassing, the borough is obligated under the fair share housing act to provide affordable housing, and the results of the study are necessary to formulate a plan to meet that requirement. The areas to be reviewed are primarily along Bloomfield Avenue, she said.

The areas being considered for redevelopment are the Academy triangle to approximately the ShopRite liquor store and from Central Avenue to Ravine Street. Dassing explained that any areas determined to be in need of redevelopment are entitled to be considered for a tax abatement in the form of a payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT).

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Areas for consideration for rehabilitation are the Elm Road triangle and the eastern tip of Caldwell, in addition to Park Place, Smull Avenue, Hanford Place, Washburn Place, Gould Place and Cleveland. Areas determined to be in need of rehabilitation are not entitled to be considered for a PILOT.

Borough Attorney Greg Mascera stated that there are no plans to seek information about the condemnation of properties at this time; the study is solely limited to rehabilitation or redevelopment of properties.

Borough Administrator Paul Carelli reported that he received a letter from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) stating that the borough’s facility waste plant has exceeded 95-percent capacity as determined by a 12-month average threshold. Carelli indicated that the proper usage of the of the system “may be okay, but it’s the storm water getting into the system that is the issue.”  He further stated that sump pumps have been illegally connected to the sewer system, which he said has been overburdened during major rain events.

Since the sewer system is also utilized by North Caldwell, West Caldwell, Roseland, Essex Fells and a portion of Fairfield, Councilman Henderson Cole suggested putting those communities on notice of the status of the determination by the EPA. A brief discussion ensued regarding a possible town-wide inspection of sump pump connections.

In other news, the council authorized the appointment of John Ihling as a member of  the Caldwell Volunteer Fire Department.

Dassing also noted that the annual Christmas Tree Lighting will be held on Dec. 1 on the Green at 5 p.m., followed by the fire department’s Tricky Tray, and the Menorah will be lit at 4:15 p.m. on Dec. 4.

The next council meeting will be held on Dec. 4.