Borough of Stanhope Swears in New Council Member and Discusses Renovations
Thursday, September 13, 2012 • 6:26pm
STANHOPE BOROUGH, NJ --- The council of Stanhope joined together for a meeting this Tuesday, September 11, to talk about current matters in the town.
The Pledge of Allegiance took place, followed by a moment of silence, to remember those who died on that fateful day 11 years ago.
Mayor Rosemarie Maio read a letter from New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, which had declared September 11, 2012 as Patriot Day in New Jersey in remembrance of those who had died.
In addition, borough clerk Ellen Horak swore in William Thornton as a new council member, replacing previous member, Brian Murphy.
Once a council resigns, a party is elected which compiles the names of three candidates for consideration.
Murphy was elected as an independent. Since he had no affiliation when he ran, the council had the freedom to choose whomever they desire.
Thornton was selected in the Republican party this past June to run for council. The Democratic party on the other hand did not make a nomination.
Thornton took his oath in front of the American Flag, as his daughter and wife watched him, and was later able to sit with the council that night.
A new council member is not the only exciting addition in store for Stanhope. The council and staff are currently in the process of renovating their municipal building and police department while current meetings are scheduled at the American Legion.
The council is also thrilled to have chosen their new colored wood, tile and carpet choices from samples.
Councilwoman Diane Kuncken joked, “Mike has taken up interior decorating,” about councilman Michael Depew.
Borough administrator Brian McNeilly spoke of the police department and said, “The squad room is complete, the existing furniture is in place as we wait for the new furniture to arrive. The hallway was ripped out today as we are working in a spectrum of six inches. We are also making arrangements to move the water heater out of the closet.”
The estimated cost value for the project is $22,328 while the construction is $9,000. Stanhope had also received a grant of $133,000.
In other business:
Eric Keller read from his Engineer’s report to the council that, “Sparta is road is finished and just needs to be milled and paved. I also am waiting to hear from the DEP (Department of Environmental Protection) about the sewer service area. The state has not yet scheduled a public hearing.”
The council then went on to discuss a letter from the DEP which they claimed as “ridiculous” as it pertains to bobcats and barn owls in the area.
“The letter that was discussed was a response to the County Waste Water Management Plan. Over the last several years the DEP, the county, and local municipalities, have been in disagreement over which properties would be allowed to be developed in our communities,” said councilman George Graham.
A waste water management map was released by the DEP which excluded many properties with environmental concerns.
“These concerns included proximity to streams, rivers and habitat considerations. What we have objected to has been the lack of evidence of habitat,” said Graham. The DEP has excluded locations based on the possibility of the area becoming a habitat, not any actual sightings.”
“It is to reinforce the whole process based a conservation right,” said Keller. “They are not going to be found in this little development of Stanhope and Hopatcong.
“Might be barn owls but no bobcats here,” said Depew.
“The letter addressed was a denial of certain properties. Any actions taken on these properties will be subject to costly studies by the property owners to attempt to dispel the adverse findings,” says Graham.
Keller went on to discuss another matter by stating, “We’ve closed up all the leaks and our water pump is where it should be. There was one fairly large leak in Stonegate. The last one we fixed happened on 206 in the summer. Our local aid application is due in about a month. I think this project has potential.”