November 8th Council Meeting Summary
Updated: Nov 21, 2021
Last night we had a Council meeting. Here are the updates.
We settled a few outstanding matters that have been on our plate for some time. The first was an agreement with Essex Fells over outstanding water bills from 2010 to 2018 which amounted to $687,939, an amount Essex Fells disputed. After a protracted negotiation, Essex Fells will be paying Verona $475,000 over a four year period for water provided. I am pleased that this matter is finally settled and we kept this out of costly litigation. As it is a legal matter, any questions on this should be directed to the Township Manager.
Another outstanding matter we settled was to come to an agreement with The Claridges LLC and Claridge House II on money owed under the New Jersey Municipal Services Act. The Township is required to reimburse qualified private communities for services such as street ice and snow removal, street lighting, solid was collection, and leaf collection. Between 2019 and 2021, we had a dispute with The Claridges LLC and Claridge House II on what that reimbursement should be, I am thrilled that we have come to a fair agreement with both Associations on what reimbursement is owed over what was already paid ($44,682 for The Claridges and $59,854 for Charidge House II. We also passed a resolution authorizing 2021 qualified private community services agreements with Verona's other private communities.
Jumping to PFAS water remediation, we should have an update at our first meeting in December on how we are going to engineer the solution to remove the "forever chemicals" from the water.
In new business we discussed forming a Flood Advisory Board with Cedar Grove and other updates on storm water management. I know residents are anxious to know when we will be removing debris from the Peckman. We are working on a plan, but we need to figure out how to pay for it, and exactly how to do it consistent with DEP regulations. More on this to come.
Under resolutions, we removed an agreement to lease two vehicles after a resident question was raised on the financing. We passed the other resolutions. Other resolutions included increasing the scope of a sewer plant project by $35K, including to make sure we can pay an engineer to help us secure iBank funding. We passed several resolutions relating to contracting for services. We also entered into the Nationwide Opioid Settlement.
Finally I have been pushing for updates on some outstanding projects, and I thank the Township Manager for his updates. VTV has been broken for what seems like forever, but we are finally getting close to it coming back online with new capabilities. The baby pool renovations are being rescoped. As you can recall that project should have happened in 2020, but we could not get a contractor able to do the project for the amount we allotted. In order to get this project completed in what we bonded for, the Township may scrap plans for a zero entry baby pool but keep the addition of a splash pad. Another outstanding project is the playground at the Community Center and hopefully we can get the design of that project moving shortly.
I have to say we have had a lot of good dialog over the last few meetings. Every Council member is bringing their unique perspectives and we are making incremental progress on some very important issues. We will keep at it! I hope you continue to tune in. Comments to the Council can be sent here: https://www.veronanj.org/council