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MANAGER'S BLOG

From the desk of Thomas S. Russo, Jr.

Jan 23

January 23, 2015

Posted on January 23, 2015 at 10:31 AM by Thomas Russo, Jr.

I have scheduled interviews for candidates interested in serving on the various Boards/Commissions beginning at 6:15pm on Monday night, immediately following will be our Town Council meeting at 7:00pm.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Lorraine's office has prepared the minutes from the January 12th Regular and Executive meetings for consideration and approval.

OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
This is for those that wish to address the Town Council but do not plan on staying for the whole meeting. There is a note to the public on the agenda to please keep their comments to a maximum of 5 minutes. This allows ample time for all whom wish to speak and keeps the meeting moving forward. The public can speak on any matter.

COUNCIL & MANAGER REPORTS

ORDINANCES
There is one ordinance for public hearing and adoption:

Ordinance 2015-1 will permit schools in the T3, T4 and T5 zones.

There are two ordinances for introduction:

Ordinance 2015-2 will amend the Property Maintenance Code and make creditors responsible for maintaining the exterior property of vacant and abandoned properties involved in foreclosure actions.

Ordinance 2015-3 will amend Chapter 200 “Parks and Recreations Areas” establishing operating hours for public parks.

OLD BUSINESS

CONSENT AGENDA
Resolution #14-2015* will award the bid for the replacement of the primary settling tank drive and cover at the Wastewater Treatment Plant to JEV Construction, LLC.

Resolution #15-2015* will authorize credits due water and sewer utility accounts.

Resolution #16-2015* will authorize the submission of strategic plan for the Municipal Alliance Grant for 2015.

Resolution #17-2015* will approve 2014 appropriation transfers.

Resolution #18-2015* will approve bills and vouchers for payment.

Application(s)* there are seven (7) applications for your consideration:
1. An application for an on-premise 50/50 from the Pride Foundation to be held on February 20, 2015 from 5:00pm to 11:00pm at the High School.
2. An application for an on-premise bingo game from the Pride Foundation to held on February 20, 2015 from 5:00pm to 11:00pm at the High School.
3. An application for an on-premise raffle from the Pride Foundation to held on February 20, 2015 from 5:00pm to 11:00pm at the High School.
4. An application for an off-premise raffle from the Catholic Academy of Sussex to be held May 14, 2015 at 6:00pm at St. Joseph School.
5. A membership application from Anthony J. Perigo, 34 Mount View Street to join the Newton Fire Department
6. A membership application from Christopher S. Perigo, 34 Mount View Street to join the Newton Fire Department.
7. A membership application from Michael A. Hayes, 38 Mount View Street to join the Newton Fire Department

RESOLUITON
Resolution #13-2015 will waive water and sewer fees for the Newton First Aid Squad.

DISCUSSION
1. Jessica Caldwell will be in attendance to discuss:
a. Signage; Vaping; Generators; Footcandles
2. The Shade Tree Commission has some recommendations I would like to discuss with you regarding tree bank and tree protection.

OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

COUNCIL & MANAGER COMMENTS

EXECUTIVE SESSION
Resolution #19-2015 will authorize discussions on the Armory and the Rt. 206 Sidewalk Project.

THE WEEK IN REVIEW
Morris Lake was 24 inches below the top of the spillway on 1.19.15.

We (Tom, Mayor Elvidge, Councilman Levante) visited the SID in Montclair, NJ this past Tuesday. Once again, very interesting to see how a community takes the SID framework and turns it into something unique, special and successful.

The Hicks Avenue pro forma is almost complete. Next step will be discussions with the County of Sussex on the traffic light that needs to be installed to make this project viable.

We met with professionals from the Highlands to discuss the two potential TDR projects for the Town of Newton – Potential Receiving Zone 1 is 20-22 Trinity Street and Potential Receiving Zone 2 is 249 High Street. The group was very impressed with our current successes and future endeavors. I will keep you posted.

The 2015 budget is still being put together as we speak. Same will be distributed to the Council next Friday.

Have a great weekend! Stay safe!
Yours for a Better Newton,
TSRJR
Jan 16

January 16, 2015

Posted on January 16, 2015 at 12:47 PM by Thomas Russo, Jr.

Municipal offices will be closed Monday, January 19th in recognition of Dr. Martin Luther King’s Jr.’s Birthday.

Volunteer interviews will be conducted starting at 6:00pm on Monday, January 26th. Our next Council meeting will follow at 7:00pm and there will be an Executive Session.

THE WEEK IN REVIEW
Morris Lake was 24 inches below the top of the spillway on 1.12.15.

Our annual SWOT analysis went very well this past Tuesday. Council and participants received an email synopsis distributed by Terri.

Our SID visit in Washington Boro was very informative – next stop, Montclair!

Work continued on the Hicks Avenue Redevelopment pro-forma.

Representatives from various agencies came up this week to tour the Newton Armory property – both outside AND inside! Jennifer and I are working on the various information items necessary. These will be discussed in Executive Session on January 26th as planned.

Painting is continuing up at Morris Lake on the pipes and walls to freshen up the Water Treatment Plant.

Routine business discussed at the NJMEBF meeting this week – grateful to be appointed as an alternate Fund Commissioner once again.

A reminder that Jessica Caldwell will be in attendance at our meeting on January 26th to discuss all things sign, generator, vaping and footcandle. Jessica will also be discussing recommendations for tree bank/tree protection received from Shade Tree.

Have a great weekend! Enjoy the playoffs!

Yours for a Better Newton,
TSRJR
Dec 19

December 19, 2014

Posted on December 19, 2014 at 2:37 PM by Thomas Russo, Jr.

Let me start off by reminding you there will be a reception to thank our volunteers this Monday night at 5:30pm. I encourage our department heads and staff who support the work of the various volunteer boards to join us. Following the reception, at 6:30pm, I have scheduled interviews for candidates interested in serving on the Planning Board and Economic Development Advisory Commission. The regular Council meeting follows at 7:00pm.

Happy Hanukkah to our friends of the Jewish faith. Merry Christmas to our friends who celebrate this Christian holiday. And a very Happy New Year to everyone! May 2015 bring all of you the blessings of good health, happiness and success.

Newsletter returns on January 9th. See you in 2015!

APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Lorraine's office has prepared the minutes from the December 8th Regular and Executive meetings for consideration and approval.

OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
This is for those that wish to address the Town Council but do not plan on staying for the whole meeting. There is a note to the public on the agenda to please keep their comments to a maximum of 5 minutes. This allows ample time for all whom wish to speak and keeps the meeting moving forward. The public can speak on any matter.

COUNCIL & MANAGER REPORTS
Winners of the Holiday House Decorating Contest will be in attendance. The Mayor will present a certificate and gift to them.

Retirees Lisa Wolanski and Darlene Cooper of the Police Department will be honored by Chief Richards for their years of service to the Town.

ORDINANCES
There is one ordinance for public hearing and adoption:

Ordinance 2014-26 will authorize the consolidation of the Department of Public Works and the Water and Sewer Department.

There are two ordinances for introduction:

Ordinance 2014-27 will establish Spring Street as a one-way street from Madison/Union to Route 94/206.

Ordinance 2014-28 is a fully funded Water Sewer Capital Improvement Ordinance for the Waste Water Treatment Plant roof projects in the amount of $110,000.

OLD BUSINESS

CONSENT AGENDA
Resolution #261-2014* will direct the Planning Board to review and comment on the McGuire Redevelopment Plan.

Resolution #262-2014* will approve the purchase of 32 sets of turn out gear for the Fire Department.

Resolution #263-2014* will accept the Main Pool Filtration System Renovations at Memory Park Swimming Pool project as complete.

Resolution #264-2014* will cancel a $158,057.25 balance that exists in the Water Sewer Capital Trial Balance for Reserve from the Plainfield Avenue Watermain Project.

Resolution #265-2014* will approve the sale of 7 Stuart Street.

Resolution #266-2013* will authorize the sale of brine to other municipalities.

Resolution #267-2014* will authorize the refund of redemption monies to an outside lien holder for Block 3.04, Lot 7.

Resolution #268-2014* will authorize credits due water and sewer utility accounts.

Resolution #269-2014* will authorize entering into a shared service agreement with Hardyston Township for Construction Department services which will continue our current relationship.

Resolution #270-2014* will appoint various attorneys for the Town for 2015.

Resolution #271-2014* will authorize reappointing Holenstein & Holzhauer, LLC as the Town’s professional appraiser in the defense of State level tax appeals in 2015.

Resolution #272-2014* will reappoint Hatch Mott MacDonald as the Town’s Sewer Engineer for 2015.

Resolution #273-2014* will approve appropriation transfers.

Resolution #274-2014* will reappoint Daniel Hayek and Crystal Drossel to the Economic Development Advisory Commission.

Resolution #275-2014* will cancel appropriation balances in the Water Sewer Capital Fund for the Inlet Building Upgrade and Maple Avenue Projects.

Resolution #276-2014* will amend the Water Sewer Capital Budget in the amount of $110,000 for the Waste Water Treatment Plant roof projects. This is done in conjunction with Ordinance 2014-28 above.

Resolution #277-2014* will approve bills and vouchers for payment.

Resolution #278-2014* will appoint Joseph A. Ricciardo to the Planning Board.

Resolution #279-2014* will appoint Mark Maruska to the EDC.

INTERMISSION

DISCUSSION

OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

COUNCIL & MANAGER COMMENTS

THE WEEK IN REVIEW
Morris Lake was 24 inches below the top of the spillway on 12.15.14.

I conducted the annual performance evaluations this week for all of my department heads. Thank you all for a very successful 2014!

Planning Board granted final site plan approval for the RPM project. Let’s hope 2015 brings a successful round of funding for this important downtown project.

Routine business conducted at Statewide Insurance this week.

Thank you to everyone who brought in items for our annual employee holiday party!

Please stop in and say ‘hi’ to Kayleen in the Clerk’s office, who will be replacing Jennifer, and Debra, who is replacing Darlene in the PD. Welcome aboard! Best wishes to Jennifer in her academic endeavors and to Darlene in her well-deserved retirement!

SID visits are scheduled with Washington Boro and Montclair in January 2015.

We are scheduled to meet with various state agencies in January regarding the status of the State’s clean-up of the Armory property. Stay tuned!

Have a great weekend! See you in 2015!

Yours for a Better Newton,
TSRJR