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Borough Officials Optimistic Over Downtown Parking Solution

Mike Neavill

Wednesday, September 25, 2013 • 11:27am

NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ – Councilman Gary Kapner said the borough’s Economic Development Committee met last week to begin discussions on downtown parking.
 
“It was an excellent meeting to start the process of finding solutions for our downtown district and coming up with an open access plan that works for consumers, residents, business and property owners,” Kapner said.
 
The EDC which consists of borough officials and a cross-section of residents and business owners is scheduled to meet again on Oct. 21.
 
In the meantime, Kapner and Councilman Dr. Bob Robinson, charged by fellow council members to facilitate a solution, have scheduled meetings with property and business owners that border the Village Shopping Center to have informal discussions and ensure their viewpoints are incorporated in all proceedings.
 
“It seems like a slow process but we are actually accomplishing quite a bit,” Kapner said.
 
Parking peace in the downtown business district erupted in mid-June when the new owner of the Village Shopping Center erected signs warning visiting motorists that parking was restricted to customers only. Hopeful that a solution could be realized, the signs were removed in August.
 
Making a quick u-turn from parking to recreation, Councilman Jim Madden said borough sponsored summer programs saw an increase of 600 participants over last year.
 
Madden said the success was related to an excellent recreation staff, recruiting and training.
 
The installation of artificial turf at Hillview Field has been completed which drew raves from several council members.
 
"It looks tremendous. Kids will feel like they’re playing at Yankee Stadium,” Council President Michael Gennaro said.
 
The field renovation is a combination of artificial turf and natural grass. The field will be close d to the public until next spring to allow the natural grass to develop.
 
Councilman Rob Munoz shared Gennaro’s enthusiasm and stressed that improvements to other fields were being discussed which would include input from affected residents.
 
Robinson who attended a recent Municipal Alliance meeting said the organization is planning an expert panel meeting open to the public to discuss legal and non-legal narcotics.
 
Robinson said he was told by Deputy Police Chief Scott Torre there was a growing concern about prescription drugs falling into the hands of teenagers.
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