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  • Writer's pictureChristine McGrath

April 4th Council Meeting Update

Last night we had a Council meeting. Here are the highlights of what was discussed.


Last night we finished up budget review for 2022 by discussing both the rescue squad budget and the fire department's budget. We then formally introduced the budget. The budget for 2022 is $26.6 million, $17.2 million to be raised by taxes (excluding the minimum library tax). The budget represents a 2.4% increase over last year's budget. The budget can be inspected by the public by going here: https://www.veronanj.org/budgetinfo. A public hearing on the budget will be conducted over Zoom on May 9, 2022 at 7 pm.


Another significant action we took last night was a vote on the One Sunset Avenue development (aka the "Spectrum" project). Per the Township's agreement with the developer, it is required that the Council review the site plan and agree it is consistent with the Redevelopment Plan before it is submitted to the Planning Board. After an extensive discussion on whether or not aspects of the site plan were consistent with the Township's Redevelopment Plan for the property, the Council voted that the plans submitted to us by the developer were *not* consistent with the Redevelopment Plan. The developer will need to address these issues and come back to the Council for approval.


Last night we approved two ordinances. The first was a financial move we make every year to authorize a CAP Index. The second was to return the Adult Twilight pool membership fee back to pre-pandemic fee of $180.


We introduced two significant capital ordinances. The first was $1.55 million for two projects: ADA curb ramps in various locations (a $250K project offset by a $90 Community Development Block Grant) and a more significant project of $1.3 million to reconstruct Derwent Avenue (offset by the $505K NJ Department of Transportation Grant). The second capital ordinance was for $1 million to improve the sanitary sewer and water distribution system in the area of Ann, Cypress, Steven, and Willow. Since we are also reconstructing those streets, it is important that we fix the underlining infrastructure before we reconstruct the road. Both ordinances will have a public hearing and final vote at our next meeting.


As an addendum to the agenda, we passed a resolution awarding Lakeside Deli a five year contract to run the pool concession stand, for which the Township receives a fee starting at $12,000 for 2022 and increasing every year to $13,506 for 2026. As part of the conversation the Council did ask to review the contract before it is executed to understand the performance guarantees in the contract.


The Council decided to table the introduction of an ordinance to raise fees on liquor licenses (for both retail and distribution businesses) and change in the fee for the gym rental at the Community Center. We asked for additional information before introducing that ordinance.


We passed resolutions to raise the Ukrainian flag in recognition of the horrendous war that is happening there. We also accepted several grants for the police department to offset costs for body armor and distracted driving. We authorized a contract with Spatial Data Logic, a platform that the Township uses to do many things, including to keep track of the exact location all of our infrastructure under the roads. I asked for a review of how the Township is using Spatial Data Logic as the Council has not been updated on its use in quite some time. Under new business, we also discussed making potential amendments to the Zoning Code on plant selection and placement.


If members of the public have any comments on what was discussed, please send your comments to the entire Council here: https://www.veronanj.org/council




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