CALDWELL, NJ — The Caldwell council met earlier this week via a Zoom platform to conduct the business of the borough. Mark Guiliano, Office of Emergency Management (OEM) Director provided an update regarding the borough’s COVID-19 cases. Guiliano reported that the borough’s new cases are trending lower “which reflects what is going on in the county.” He said that the OEM continues to keep track of all of the information from the state and county levels.
As the Executive Order was executed allowing some businesses to open on a limited and restrictive basis a permit process has been established. Those businesses which are now allowed to provide outside operations are required to submit applications for a municipal permit. Business owners are directed to submit applications to the township clerk’s office.
There was a brief discussion as to waiving the proposed fee of $50 per application raised by Councilman Jonathan Lace. Business Administrator Thomas Banker responded that it was a nominal fee and that there were additional duties that would now have to be added on to existing workloads of employees. He stated that it was a nominal fee that would also be used to deter “frivolous applications.” The resolution passed and the traditional fee associated was waived.
The council passed two resolutions that would facilitate temporary allowance for outdoor dining and the serving of alcoholic beverages. The first allows under certain restrictions for business to conduct outside operations and the other provides safety measures to ensure that the temporary settings are secure and safe.
Police Chief James Bongiorno and Guiliano, along with the Department of Public Works (DPW) have assisted in the placement of barriers that would facilitate a safe area along Bloomfield Avenue. The barriers would decrease some of the street parking currently permitted.
Mayor John Kelley confirmed that the business owners were involved in determining which businesses requested the additional frontage opportunities while other merchants had declined curbside extensions. Councilman Henderson Cole questioned if additional lighting would be required for safety purposes and Bongiorno responded that the street lighting was sufficient and in fact placement of the “wrong lights can be distracting to motorists.” Bongiorno confirmed that areas will not be set up that would create a hazard and subsequently the application process will ensure what is appropriate and safe.
The next council meeting will be July 21.