WESTFIELD, NJ — Westfield’s town council unanimously approved an ordinance that discourages utility companies from ripping up newly paved roads for their own projects at Tuesday night’s meeting.

“It sets a moratorium on their ability to open a road which has been recently paved,” Councilman David Oliveira, chair of the department of public works committee, explained before the vote. “So any road that’s been paved in the last five years, should a utility company request to open it, it will set fees for that work and require that they restore it to the satisfaction of our township officials.”

Under the new rules, the town engineer is required to notify the utility companies about roadwork in advance and give them 90 days to file a permit to do any work they needed to get done before the town paves.

For the first year after a road is paved, a utility would have to pay $1,000 for a permit, instead of the $100 fee that used to be required. During years two and three, that fee is $750. In the fourth and fifth years after a road is paved, the fee is now $500.