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MANAGER'S BLOG

From the desk of Thomas S. Russo, Jr.

Sep 19

September 19, 2014

Posted on September 19, 2014 at 12:00 AM by Thomas Russo, Jr.

Our next Council meeting is Monday, September 22nd at 7:00pm. A reminder that our harassment/ethics training session starts at 6:00pm.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Lorraine's office has prepared the minutes from the September 10th 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.

Bernd Hefele, Esq., will be making a brief presentation requesting an amendment to the Merriam Avenue Redevelopment Plan on behalf of his client, Dunkin’ Donuts. Jenn Credidio, Esq. and Jessica Caldwell will both be in attendance.

COUNCIL & MANAGER REPORTS
Dave Vozza from The Vozza Agency will make a brief presentation.

Dispatch Services.

ORDINANCES
There are two ordinances for introduction:

Ordinance 2014-19 will revise the zoning map as previously discussed.

Ordinance 2014-20 will reappropriate unexpended capital funding to use for the Spring Street project.

OLD BUSINESS
SID – no update at this time.

CONSENT AGENDA
Resolution #171-2014* will amend the capital budget. This is required along with Ordinance 2014-20 above.

Resolution #172-2014* will authorize the redemption of monies to an outside lien holder for Block 8.05, Lot 2.

Resolution #173-2014* will authorize the redemption of monies to an outside lien holder for Block 14.06, Lot 7.

Resolution #174-2014* will approve the refund of monies to Block 1.01, Lot 19 due to a State Tax Court Judgment.

Resolution #175-2014* will approve bills and vouchers for payment.

There are three applications for consideration:
1. An application for an off-premise (50/50 & raffle) from Katie’s House, 29 Moran Street, Newton to be held on December 17, 2014 at 8:00 p.m. at Dre’s, 188 Spring Street, Newton.
2. An application for an on-premise raffle (50/50) from the Sussex County Community College Foundation, One College Hill Road, Newton to be held on October 18, 2014 from Noon to 5:00 p.m. at SCCC.
3. An application for an on-premise raffle (50/50 & Tricky Tray) from the Catholic Academy of Sussex County, for St. Joseph Regional School, 20 Jefferson Street, Newton to be held October 17, 2014 at 20 Jefferson Street, Newton.

INTERMISSION

DISCUSSION
1. Non-union retiree health benefits for future new-hires. A draft resolution has been shared with you on the Google Drive.
2. Tax Exempt Properties, Phase II - Information was shared on the Google Drive.

OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

COUNCIL & MANAGER COMMENTS

EXECUTIVE SESSION
Resolution #176-2014 will authorize discussions on contract negotiations and potential litigation.

RESOLUTIONS
There are two resolutions for consideration after discussion in Executive Session:

Resolution #177-2014

Resolution #178-2014

THE WEEK IN REVIEW
Morris Lake was 19 inches below the top of the spillway on 9.15.14.

The Town received good news in the Aberlour matter – we were victorious at the State Supreme Court level and now expect payment on COAH and the w/s connection fees! Our thanks to Bill Hinkes for all of his hard work on the case.

I met with Dr. Mazur regarding the tax exempt letter. I dropped off a copy of same to the president of Newton Medical Center and will discuss its contents at our October 2nd lunch meeting. Newton Housing Authority is already making a payment but I did meet with Dr. Iozzi from Liberty Towers to discuss the purpose behind our project. I have yet to meet with the County Administrator due to scheduling conflicts.

Routine business discussed this week at SC EDP and Newton Planning Board.

Milling and paving has been finished for Townsend, Stuart, and Diller along with the repairs on Cedar. Line striping will occur next week.

Mold remediation has been completed at Firehouse 2.

Jim Prusinowski, Chief Richards and Tracy attended the PERC hearing on comp time allocation for police grant work. I will keep you posted on the arbitrator’s decision on same.

Christ Community Church has offered to provide volunteers in support of our Country Cool festival. We have received $8,000 in financial pledges towards the cost of the event. Remember to mark your calendars: October 18th from noon-5pm at SCCC! Please let Terri know if you are able to volunteer.

The mayor and I attended the Recreation Commission meeting this week. We are in need of two additional volunteers to serve on said board.

The NJMEBF budget was introduced this week. Our premiums are expected to increase about 9 ½% for 2015.

Enjoy your weekend! Go Giants! Hockey season right around the corner…

Yours for a Better Newton,
TSRJR
Sep 12

September 12, 2014

Posted on September 12, 2014 at 12:00 AM by Thomas Russo, Jr.

The next Council meeting is Monday, September 22nd at 7:00pm. Please remember: we will have training commencing at 6:00pm.

THE WEEK IN REVIEW
Morris Lake was 16 inches below the top of the spillway on 9.8.14.

Hope everyone enjoyed the Taste of Newton event! Great job by the GNCC, PD and DPW!

Lots of coverage in the NJ Herald thus far (and continuing on Sunday) on the tax-exempt properties issue.

We had pre-con meetings this week on the Fire Museum cistern and roof projects. Said projects are anticipated to commence in the next several weeks.

Please sign this pledge to support Newton Roller Hockey! They are 11th in the nation and need more votes! https://www.playpositive.com/pledge/takePledge/950

The Town received the hook-up fees for the Moose Lodge project. The hook-ups to both water and sewer were completed on Thursday.

Linda Roth has commenced her duties in Byram as their interim CTC. We wish her success during this 8-month project.

Routine business discussed this week at the Statewide Insurance meeting.

Some great commitments thus far on the Country Cool Festival: Thorlabs-$1,000; Lisa Fairclough-$1,000; Selective Insurance-$1,500; Vozza Agency-$1,000; JCP&L-$1,000; D&E-$500; D&H-$500. More to come!

Milling and paving will begin next Monday at 7:00 a.m. starting on Diller Avenue, Stuart Street, Townsend Street, and a portion of Cedar Street. Paving will begin on Tuesday. During the paving, roads will be closed for about a 1-2 hour period while the asphalt cools.

Work was completed on McGuire’s Alley to replace the concrete along the alleyway side.

Enjoy your weekend! Go Giants!

Yours for a Better Newton,
TSRJR
Sep 05

September 5, 2014

Posted on September 5, 2014 at 12:57 PM by Thomas Russo, Jr.

Monday night is the 13th Annual Taste of Newton @ 6:30pm on Spring Street; as a result our next Council meeting is Wednesday, September 10th at 7:00pm. There will be one item discussed in Executive Session.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Lorraine's office has prepared the minutes from the August 25th Regular meeting 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
I have a request from the Newton Fire Department.

ORDINANCES
There are two ordinances for adoption:

Ordinance 2014-17 will eliminate the two divisions of Department of Code Enforcement to make two separate departments: Department of Code Enforcement and Uniform Construction Code Department.

Ordinance 2014-18 will amend the salary ordinance to reflect the changes in Ordinance 2014-17.

OLD BUSINESS
SID – no update.

CONSENT AGENDA
Resolution #165-2014* authorizes the renewal of our membership in the North Jersey Municipal Employee Benefits Fund.

Resolution #166-2014* will affirm the issuance of $3,411,575 in Bond Anticipation Notes.

Resolution #167-2014* will approve the fireworks display for the annual Festival of Lights held at the hospital in November.

Resolution #168-2014* will renew the liquor license for the Spring House for the 2014-2015 licensing year.

Resolution #169-2014* will approve bills and vouchers for payment.

There are two applications for your consideration:
1. An application for a Special Permit for a Social Affair from the Karen Ann Quinlan Memorial Foundation to be held on November 2nd and April 6th from 6:00pm to 10:00pm at Krave.
2. An application for a Social Affair Permit from the Newton Fire Museum, Inc. to be held on October 18th from 10:00am to 6:00pm at the College, as part of the Country Cool Festival.

INTERMISSION

DISCUSSION
1. Zoning Map Amendment – Draft Ordinance. Please see the Google Drive for more information.
2. Tax Exempt Properties – Information was previously sent to you and shared on the Google Drive on this matter advising it will be discussed at the September 10th meeting.

OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

COUNCIL & MANAGER COMMENTS

EXECUTIVE SESSION
Resolution #170-2014 will authorize a discussion on contract negotiations.

THE WEEK IN REVIEW
Morris Lake was 15 inches below the top of the spillway on 9.1.14.

Hope everyone enjoyed the Labor Day holiday and weekend!

I want to welcome our new Deputy Court Administrator, Melinda Pflug, to the team!

I was pleased to participate in the ribbon cutting for the new Dental and Medical Training Center several doors down from our offices on Trinity Street. We wish them the best of success.

Routine business discussed at the Parking Authority.

RPM is looking to go before the Planning Board for final site plan approval in Nov. or Dec.

Enjoy your weekend! Go Giants!

Yours for a Better Newton,
TSRJR