WEST CALDWELL, NJ — Two ordinances that would provide bonds for capital improvements within the Township of West Caldwell and one ordinance that would provide for water main replacements on Smull Avenue and Clinton Road were adopted on Tuesday during the West Caldwell Township Council meeting.

The ordinances will be subject to a second reading during the next council meeting on March 3.

In introducing the two ordinances dealing with capital improvements, Councilman Michael Crudele explained that the first ordinance would appropriate $1.69 million and authorize the issuance of $1,605,500 for road reconstruction on Smull Avenue, Evergreen Road and Lougheed Avenue. The funds will also assist with milling and paving on various roads within the township as well as drainage improvements on Dalewood and Westview Roads, he said.

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The second ordinance would provide for water main replacements on Smull Avenue and Clinton Road for the water utility that would appropriate and issue a bond in the amount of $1.4 million.

Council President Kathy Canale also introduced an amendment to the township’s Flood Plain and Storm Water Management ordinance on Tuesday. The amendment would update flood boundary lines within the flood insurance rate map that are defined as “flood hazard areas,” which were last determined in 2001.

According to Canale, the new proposed language includes definitions of “best available flood hazard data,” “best available flood hazard data elevation,” “breakaway wall,” “elevation certificate,” “FEMA publication,” “flood proofing,” “flood proofing certificate,” and “flood design class” among other definitions that are subject to council’s approval for the final reading.

During committee reports at Tuesday’s meeting, Councilman Joseph Cecere announced that West Caldwell’s winter recreation sports programs are winding down and signups for t-ball and coach pitch have begun.

He also reported that Robert Davison, chief executive officer at Mental Health Association of Essex and Morris Counties, Inc., recently presented a discussion that was “very educational” about mental health and the homeless at the West Caldwell Public Library.

Councilman Michael Docteroff updated the public that on Feb. 20, representatives from the West Essex First Aid Squad as well as the local fire and police departments will be meeting with students at James Caldwell High School “to try to get the younger people interested in the three agencies.” 

He also noted that the pool committee will meet with managers and lifeguards over the next few weeks to begin plans for next summer.

Municipal Clerk Mary Donovan apprised the mayor and council that the Superintendent of Elections recently sent notification that new voting machines have arrived in Essex County that will utilize paper ballots that will then be scanned.

The process will also now include questions about whether the voter forgot or deliberately opted not to vote for a particular seat or ballot question, according to Donovan.

Mayor Joseph Tempesta was cautious as to how “efficient this may be and may slow down the process, similar to the lines in New York.” A brief discussion ensued as to potentially longer lines, particularly since November will be a presidential election along with the primaries that will be held in June 2020.

Donovan reported that Patricia Spango, Essex County Deputy Superintendent of Elections, will be attending the West Caldwell council meeting on April 21 to provide detailed information on the new machines. She also noted that poll workers will now be paid $300 per day.

In other news, the council also authorized the appointment of Michael Boettinger as a regular firefighter of the West Caldwell Volunteer Fire Department, and Acting Police Chief Dennis Capriglione reported that the two new police dispatchers began work last week.

The next township council meeting will be held on March 3.