Government

Redevelopment Questions Continue to be a Focus at West Orange Town Council Meeting

0c21499e5ca9aae14689_IMAG3284.jpg
Credits: Chris Harewood
0c21499e5ca9aae14689_IMAG3284.jpg

WEST ORANGE, NJ - Concerns about a resolutions regarding roadway improvements and the downtown redevelopment were hot topics at Tuesday’s town council meeting in West Orange.

West Orange resident Claire Silvestri, wife of Councilman Joe Krakoviak, questioned Resolution (249-15) that would allot over $585,000 to improve the streets on Cherry Street and Belgrade Terrace Roadway. These improvements would include new driveway aprons, handicap ramps, driveway repairs, service walk changes, new sidewalks and more. 

Silvestri wondered how much of the money used for these repairs would be funded by the state and how much would come from the municipal budget. She also asked why sidewalks were being included in the repairs, something that she believed would lead to the higher than usual price of repairs. She said that in the past, 10 streets cost a total of $1 million dollars to repair compared to just two streets costing over $500,000.

Sign Up for E-News

While acknowledging that an engineer would be a better person to ask to get to the bottom of these questions, Business Administrator Jack Sayers and Chief Financial Advisor John Goss explained that various factors go into deciding the degree of repairs to be done to streets including the need for draining, conditions of the sidewalk areas, and whether tree growth is the reason for sidewalk damage.

Later during the reviewing of this resolution, Councilwoman Susan McCartney contacted West Orange Municipal Engineer Leonard Lapore who explained that the sidewalks are being included because that is part of the NJ Department of Transportation grant.

Displeased with this explanation, Krakoviak chose to abstain from voting for the resolution that was passed on a 4-0 vote.

In addition, Silvestri and Krakoviak expressed displeasure with the redevelopment of the downtown area being spearheaded by Dune and Prism. While Silvestri said she saw someone clearing out vegetation when she drove by the area, she said she had yet to see any construction.

Krakoviak said he felt this violated their agreement.

“This is a situation where they agreed less than two months ago that they would start construction on September 30th, and I think we all agree they have not started,” he said.

Sayers disagree with this point of view and said, “Just because there’s no building there doesn’t mean they haven’t started doing things,” pointing out that PSEG has been on the scene and there has been sewer mark outs and the clearing of front properties. 

While default letters have been sent to the redevelopers due to them being late on their taxes, Krakoviak said he also wanted default letters sent out for them not starting development. He also requested that a legal representative and redevelopment representative be present at the next town council meeting.

Resolutions 248-15 and 251-15 were also pulled by Krakoviak, but passed 4-1 with Krakoviak voting no. 

Resolution 248-15 authorizes the execution of a sublease between the township and the West Orange Arts Council regarding 555 Valley Street, which is 1,300 rentable square feet of space in a building owned by Housing and Neighborhood Development Services, Inc. Pursuant to the sublease, WOAC will pay $300 in rent to the township, per month, for the duration of the sublease, which commences on September 1, 2015 and expires on August 31, 2019.

Resolution 251-15 amends Resolution 217-15 requesting the Planning Board to evaluate certain properties in the vicinity of Eagle Rock and Prospect Avenues to determine if they should be designated as an area in need of redevelopment or an area in need of rehabilitation.

The council also reviewed the 2016 public meeting dates and agreed on a schedule to follow.

Save the Dates

From Oct. 16 to the 19, the first Edison Concours d’Elegance will be held at the home of Thomas Edison. Some of the world’s finest vintage cars from all over the globe will be on display. Council President Jerry Guarino encouraged people to attend, adding that the money raised will go to the Edison National Park as well as toward scholarships.

The next town council meeting is scheduled for Oct. 27 at 6:30 p.m. The public is invited to attend.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News

West Orange

Local Children Invited to Register for Essex County Summer Camps

February 19, 2018

WEST ORANGE, NJ – Children of all ages are invited to participate in spring and summer camp opportunities at the Essex County Turtle Back Zoo, Essex County Codey Arena and the Essex County Environmental Center.

The zoo has several weeklong camp adventures that will introduce children to the extraordinary world of animals, nature and science. Campers and their parents/guardians are ...

Game of Thrones: A Definitive Ranking of Seasons 1-7

Groundhog Day. The day a tiny mammal’s shadow tells us when winter will come to an end. Me? I prefer my weather forecast in the form of a white raven (the telltale changing of seasons in Westeros).

For a few days, rumors spread that Game of Thrones will not return for its final season until April 2019, and while it was clarified that the April return date was likely a false rumor, HBO ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_ebeb90e00b2da8ed5088_capture

Thu, February 22, 12:00 PM

Marriot Courtyard, West Orange

BIZ 2.0 WORKSHOPS - Lunch & Learn | Presented by ...

Business & Finance Food & Drink

Carousel_image_f1e8b21af9d26c31d2e7_unnamed__8_

Sun, February 25, 10:00 AM

West Orange High School (Tarnoff Cafeteria), West Orange

44th Annual Orange West Orange UNICO Sports ...

Arts & Entertainment Education

Carousel_image_f7d9574673b2c2041627_unnamed__4_

Sun, February 25, 12:00 PM

AMC Essex Green, West Orange

The 2018 West Orange Classic Film Festival

Arts & Entertainment

Brrr, It’s Old! Come Inside the West Essex YMCA to Explore Summer Camp Fun

February 7, 2018

LIVINGSTON, NJ — While the thermometer may not budge above 40 degrees, the summer planning season is here. Families are invited to a summer camp information session at the West Essex YMCA from 6:30 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 13.

Throughout the summer, the West Essex YMCA runs five development-appropriate programs for children ages 3 1/2 to 15, building self-esteem, confidence ...

NJ Governor Signs Executive Order to Fly Flags at Half-Staff to Recognize Parkland Florida Victims

February 20, 2018

New Jersey Governor Phillip D. Murphy signed Executive Order No.1 on Monday ordering the flag of the United States of America and the Flag of the State of New Jersey to be flown at half-staff to recognize and mourn the passing of the victims in Parkland, FL.

The order is for all state offices, agencies and municipalities, including schools for Tuesday, Feb. 20.

Let the Games Begin

I am truly awed by the Olympics.  Watching these superb young athletes on TV inspires me to renew my membership to the gym and pursue my lifelong dream of taking home the gold.  

 

The problem is that in my deluded head, I can see actually see myself standing atop the podium.  I am wrapped in a puffy designer ski coat with a huge piece of bling slung around my neck ...

'What Stays' exposes family secrets and lies

‘What Stays’ exposes family secrets, resentment and lies

By Liz Keill

SUMMIT, NJ – In an original play by Laura Ekstrand and Jason Szamreta, the Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre has provided an enlightening, funny and heart-felt view of family foibles.

Ekstrand has said that the germ of the play came from conversations with the ensemble members of the troupe, based on ...