December 19th Meeting Summary
Last night we had a very informative Council meeting after a fantastic ceremony with the police department where three new officers were sworn into the police force. Congratulations to our newest officers - Shane Daly, Brendan Heller, and Gregory Matesic!
We started the meeting with a discussion from the Rescue Squad on the need to start the process to purchase a new ambulance for a total of $370,000. The ambulance the Township would be replacing is 20 years old. Due to supply chain issues and ever-increasing pricing, there was some urgency to lock in a contract for the new vehicle last night and to authorize a $60K down-payment. A resolution was passed in order to support this purchase. The down payment is being paid for with money left over from a 2019 bond ordinance to purchase an ambulance and fire truck.
Chuck Molinaro provided a comprehensive update on his department's new procedures following the results of our water system asset management plan report. Public works has always done comprehensive management on the water system but now new tracking mechanisms have been put into place to document all of the work and maintence. The progress made was impressive! Here are some highlights:
Lead and copper testing - 68 water samples have been sent out for analysis.
Lead service lines - Public Works is looking for lead service lines as part of water meter readings. So far 500 have been reviewed and only 3 have been identified. Homeowners impacted have been advised on how to proceed.
Water leaks and water main breaks - A tracking mechanism has been set up to document these as they occur and are fixed by public works.
Exercising water main valves - Public works is now GPS marking all of the valves and doing the required exercising and maintenance. A record is being kept for every valve.
Hydrant flushing - Public works just completed the second flushing of the year of all 480 hydrants.
Stormwater management - A bid will go out to ensure the catch basins and lines are cleaned out by a professional company. The town will be divided into 4 quadrants to approach this project. We also discussed starting a public education campaign on culverts and resident responsibility to keep them free of debris, especially for the households near the Peckman.
Leak detection - Public works is now metering all activities in the Township to help reduce our loss water report. In addition, they recommended, and we voted to approve by resolution, a contract with a company to do an entire leak analysis on our water system. This will allow us to pinpoint issues and fix them to save water and money. The last town-wide survey was 15 years ago.
Water tank inspections and cleaning - These inspections are in process. The power washing of the tanks are complete.
Water system interconnections with neighboring utilities - Two have been rebuilt and the others are in process.
We passed by resolution several items besides the two already mentioned. We entered into a continued interlocal agreement with Roseland to provide a Construction official and inspection services. We approved Boswell Engineering to complete the engineering for a new pump to fix water pressure issues with the Claridges. We passed a resolution supporting Congresswoman's Sherrill's legislation to combat auto thefts. We approved a qualified private community agreement, a contract for police technology services with EG Technologies, increasing a contract for DMR Architects for work associated with our fair share housing plan, and some standard budgeting resolutions.
In new business, we discussed Councilman's Tamburro's questions on part time Class II police officers, for which a salary will be included in the part time salary salary ordinance to be introduced at the next meeting. We briefly discussed support for an improvement in our language in an existing ordinance to prevent residents from painting on trees. We got a new draft of the block party ordinance that finally meets the Council's approval and will be introduced at the next meeting. A $35 fee will be required for block party permits in the future, and they must be filed 14 days in advance. We also discussed our 2023 professional services agreements and responses to RFP's. We agreed to discuss whether or not we want to proceed with changing our cannabis business prohibition at our next meeting on January 9th. I raised an new item in New Business on whether or not we could ask the Police Chief to come in and present some ideas to the Council on quick safety improvements we could make to Bloomfield Avenue. Council Tamburro is going to take this issue to the Neighborhood Traffic and Safety Committee for that group to compile recommendations.
We ended the evening to go into Executive Session to discuss several matters.
If you have any comments on what the Council discussed, feel free to send your comments to the entire Council at https://www.veronanj.org/councilcontactform.