ROSELAND, NJ — At the Roseland Borough Council caucus meeting Oct. 6, Mayor James R. Spango thanked Recreation Director Michael Coletti, the Department of Public Works, the Roseland Police and Fire Departments and Office of Emergency Management’s staff for their efforts last weekend during the borough’s annual bonfire event. 

Spango said that it was “a great success, and I was a little nervous about it considering it was the only event we held all year, but it went very well.”

Spango said that the CDC has come out with amended guidelines on Oct. 5. Initially guidelines precluded Trunk or Treats to take place, but the newly amended guidelines now allow for it. Spango stated the event will be unlike the others and there will be structured parameters for all involved. He confirmed details will be coming out shortly in addition to guidelines for trick or treating. There will be recommendations for homeowners to easily identify whether or not they will be participating in Halloween this year.

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Agenda items included adoption of a resolution that authorized the mayor to sign a reimbursement agreement under the CARES Act to recoup $24,000 spent on COVID-19 related costs. The borough is awaiting an additional reimbursement of $55,000, already approved.  

Roseland joined other municipalities including Hoboken, Jersey City, Teaneck, Kearny and Ridgefield by unanimously passing a resolution opposing construction of the NJ Transit Gas-Fired Power Plant in Kearny and support for relying instead on renewable energy technology to power the NJ Transit Microgrid.  The project has also drawn criticism from the New Jersey Sierra Club.

During committee reports a discussion was held that addressed the current temporary outdoor seating ordinance. A request had been received from a restaurant owner who wished to place steel post framing for their outdoor seating area tent and usage of heaters.  In addition to oversight by the Fire Department for various safety measures, at the suggestion of Spango the council will vote on an amended ordinance to extend the current end date of Oct. 31 to a month by month basis during their next council meeting.  Councilwoman Jean Perrotti stated that she wanted to give the business owners as much opportunity as possible before snow became an issue to recoup lost money from their required closures.

Councilman Roger Freda reported that beginning Oct. 15 leaves may be brought to the curb line.  Perrotti reported that the capital projects approved in the budget are moving forward, including new flooring for the first aid squad and the fire department. Councilman “Moose” Trillo announced that the Environmental Commission’s bat boxes will be hung shortly, and the locations will be confirmed.  He also requested that Councilwoman Perrotti in her capacity as liaison to the school district inquire if space was available on school property for placement of a pollinator for butterflies area.

Councilwoman Eileen Fishman stated that on Oct. 25 the health department will be offering flu shots from 1 to 3 p.m., and the event will be open to all. Fishman also encouraged residents who need assistance that the Roseland and Caldwell Food Bank and Meals on Wheels programs are available and if residents wish to make donations they will gratefully accepted.  Councilwoman Michelle Tolli thanked the Municipal Youth Guidance students for assisting during the Bonfire and said that the students will be collecting food donations at the Stop N Shop in West Caldwell for the food bank.  Tolli reported that the annual Fifth Grade Halloween Dance previously scheduled for Oct. 30 has been cancelled and there will be an event scheduled in the Spring instead.

Spango announced that the SS Nicholas, Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church will be conducting a blood drive on Veterans Day, Nov. 11. Information will be forthcoming, and the Mayor urged residents to participate stating that the “need for blood now is dire.”  

Spango also confirmed that PSE&G at no cost to the borough will be fully paving three roads upon completion of their work at a savings to the taxpayers of $76,000.  Spango said this was due to the “excellent relationship the borough has with the utility” and that there was no obligation to pave the entire roadway, only the areas they had affected with their upgrades.   

The next Borough Council meeting will be Oct. 20.