From the desk of Thomas S. Russo, Jr.

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Mar 23

March 23, 2012

Posted on March 23, 2012 at 2:48 PM by Terri Oswin

The Town participated in the very successful Thorlabs ribbon cutting ceremony this morning.  Thank you to everyone who made this vital project a resounding success!

The Senior Dinner is Sunday at Noon, followed by Seussical!

Our next Town Council meeting is Monday, March 26th at 7:00pm.


Lorraine’s office has prepared the minutes of the March 12th meeting for approval.


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.



There are three ordinances for 2nd reading and public hearing:

Ordinance 2012-7 will amend Chapter 307, Vehicles and Traffic of the Code Book and establish a loading zone in Lot #1 – Adams Street Parking Plaza.

Ordinance 2012-8 will amend Chapter 100, Fees and Costs of the Code Book to update fees related to the municipal pool.

Ordinance 2012-9 will amend Chapter 3, Administrative Code of the Code Book to establish a Department of Human Resources.   

There are four ordinances for introduction:

Ordinance 2012-10 is a fully funded water sewer capital improvement ordinance to provide funding for the Maple Avenue Watermain Project.

Ordinance 2012-11 will amend Chapter 307 Vehicles and Traffic of the Code Book to prohibit engine braking.

Ordinance 2012-12 will delete and repeal Chapters 162, 240, 320, and 139, and replace them with our new Land Use Ordinances.

Ordinance 2012-13 is a bond ordinance providing funding for various capital improvements.    



Resolution #51-2012* will certify the self-examination of the 2012 municipal budget.

Resolution #52-2012* will authorize payment of a tax sale certificate that was not redeemed.

Resolution #53-2012* will authorize entering into a shared services agreement with the Sussex County Municipal Utilities Authority to provide a Certified Recycling Professional for the Town.

Resolution #54-2012* is a resolution calling on the State Legislators to fully restore energy taxes back to the municipalities.

Resolution #55-2012* will confirm the sale of the Railroad Avenue ROW and authorize the Mayor and Clerk to execute the necessary documents.

Resolution #56-2012* will authorize credits due utility accounts as recommended by the Utility Collector.  

Resolution #57-2012* will approve bills and vouchers for payment.

Resolution #58-2012* will authorize the Capital Budget amendment. 


  1. An application for a special permit for a social affair from the GNCC to be held on June 9th, (Newton Day) at Memory Park.
  2. An application for an on-premise raffle (50/50) from the Sussex County Fellowship for Animals to held on May 3rd at the VFW on Mill Street.
  3. An application for on-premise raffles (Bingo and 50/50) for the Pride Foundation to be held May 4th at Newton High School.
  4. An application for on-premise raffles (Tricky Tray and 50/50) for the Auxiliary of Newton Medical Center to be held on May 11th at SCCC.
  5. An application of an on-premise raffle (50/50) from the SCCC Foundation to be held on April 14th at the college.
  6. An application for an on-premise raffle (50/50) from SCCC Foundation to be held April 18th at the college.


The Budget is set for adoption after the public hearing.  Since there are no changes in the document, I see no need to run off new copies.  In your packets are the two pages related just to the adoption.



  1. Newton Fire Department – DRAFT memo on same is provided to you in your packet.   
  2. Memorial Day Parade Committee – information in your packet.




Resolution #59-2012 will authorize the Town Council to go into Executive Session to discuss contract negotiations.


The Morris Lake Reservoir was 1 inch below the top of the spillway on 3.19.12.

I had a conversation this week with former mayor of St. Petersburg, Florida, Rick Baker, on his seminal work on local government – “The Seamless City”.  Mayor Baker was instrumental in utilizing a conservative and effective approach to urban revitalization that can work anywhere.  I am pleased to report that many of the activities he describes in his book are already being done in our fine community, to the credit of the Governing Body, staff, professionals, and volunteers.  I will try to get copies of same.

We have received the draft acquisition documents for the Armory transaction.  I have shared same with legal counsel and hope to move on this in early April.

I want to thank the DPW for their work this week on the Townsend/Trinity drainage improvements and the apron improvements in front of Town Hall.

Newton continued to get positive press coverage, both via The Alternative Press’ website,, and via the recent articles in the NJ Herald.

Work continued on the electronics and fire system for the new elevator.

A reminder that Neighbors Helping Neighbors 2012 will be held on Saturday, April 28th from 8:30am – Noon.  Pizza will follow at Memory Park.  I hope all staff members and their families can participate in this community clean-up event.  Not only do we perform basic clean-up activities, but we go one step further by assisting seniors, disabled residents, and veterans with basic yard work.  My thanks to Kerry and Deb Danielson for spearheading this event.

The location for the 2012 reorganization has been selected by incoming mayor Diglio, as we will have same at PSS once again.

The Planning Board approved the Weis vestibule application on Wednesday evening.

Enjoy your weekend!  Let’s Go Rangers!