FAIRFIELD, NJ — Fairfield’s governing body introduced an ordinance last week concerning outside dining in the township. Mayor James Gasparini said that since COVID-19 has prompted the need for outside dining, the mayor and council wanted to introduce an ordinance that would allow restaurants to provide outdoor dining facilities on private property or upon sidewalks directly adjacent to any restaurant even after the pandemic. However, they must meet certain conditions. 

These conditions are: The combined seating capacity of both indoor and outdoor dining must not exceed the restaurant’s original approved indoor seating capacity, the outdoor dining must not affect parking requirements, a restaurant must obtain approval from the New Jersey Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control prior to serving any alcohol in the outdoor dining areas, it must meet police and fire departments’ traffic and safety requirements, the permanent open-air structures and covers must meet bulk requirements for its zone, all food and drink that is consumed and served must be prepared and stored in the interior of restaurant, tables and chairs must be sturdy and of sufficient strength, protective bollards or barriers near parking lots must be approved by the planning board and all tables, chairs and other items used in the outdoor dining area must be secured in times of inclement weather or high winds.

The second reading and public hearing on this ordinance will be on Monday, Oct. 26.

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The governing body also passed a bond ordinance that provides an appropriation of $1.1 million for various capital improvements and authorizes the issuance of $1,045,000 in bonds and notes for financing part of the appropriation for the purpose of acquiring a mower, bucket truck, street signs and storm drain pipe cleaning for the road department, acquisition of audio and visual equipment for the court room, resurfacing various  township roads for the engineering department, acquisition of various equipment for the fire department and for fleet maintenance, various acquisitions for the office of emergency management, such as computers, tools and active shooter equipment, various acquisitions for parks and recreation and the police department, such as a hurricane blower, sport utility vehicles and various technology upgrades.

Gasparini reported that the new public safety building is functional and now is in use, and the library has a new director, Maria Manigbas.

Councilman William Galese announced that Jenna Bozios and Dana Hayek recently were appointed to the Fairfield municipal alliance committee (FMAC). He also announced that FMAC will be selling trick or treat lawn signs to all Fairfield residents who plain on distributing candy to trick or treaters. He said, “Due to Covid-19, Trunk or Treat has been cancelled. However, TRICK or TREATING for all is not.”  

According to a recent township email, “In an effort to strengthen our community and ensure families a safe and fun Halloween, a lawn sign on your lawn will show trick or treaters that they are welcome and are coming into a safe environment.

You can purchase a lawn sign for $12 by logging on to Community Pass through the Fairfield Township website.  Lawn signs also will be available for cash, carry and pick-up at the Fairfield recreation building beginning Tuesday, Oct. 13 through Friday, Oct. 23 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.”

Galese also announced that FMAC will be promoting a poster contest in a campaign on kindness.

According to MAC, “Municipal Alliance is funded through a grant by the Governor’s Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse, which affords us to provide programming for children and adults on such prevention topics as strengthening family bonding, alcohol awareness, suicide prevention, prescription drugs, vaping and many more.”

Tony Pompei, director of recreation, came to the podium to thank Councilman William Galese for his 12 years of service on the recreation commission and presented him with a plaque for his service. Galese recently resigned from the recreation commission as he was appointed to take over for retired Councilman Thomas Morgan. Andrea Mondadori Llauget replaced Galese on the commission. Michael Lattimer is the new chairman, and Jon Del Russo is now the vice chairman.

Because of COVID-19, the township has not made plans concerning the Christmas tree lighting ceremony or Winter Wonderland.

Coffee with a Cop is not a national event this year, but Fairfield will be having it at Manhattan Bagel at 435 Hollywood Avenue on Wednesday, Oct. 7 from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. Covid-19 guidelines will be followed inside and outside. This event is fully funded by FMAC.

The next Fairfield mayor and council meeting will be held on Monday, Oct. 26 at 7 p.m.