Caldwell Water Main Improvement Discussed at March 5 Council Meeting
Tuesday, March 19, 2013 • 9:36pm
CALDWELL, NJ - At the March 5 Caldwell Council Meeting, Borough Administrator Paul M. Carelli noted that the water main improvements on Brookside Avenue would begin on March 11, and continue for about six to eight weeks.
Credit: Google Maps
Councilman Thomas O’Donnell expressed his concerns about commuters spilling into neighboring streets to avoid areas under construction. Police Chief James H. Bongiorno said that the construction will not impact rush hour, and that there will be traffic enforcement during construction times, from 8:30 p.m. to about 4:30 a.m.
Carelli reported that the experts he spoke with did not suggest using the same company for the water and road repairs, as most would use a sub-contractor and pass along the fees to the borough. Councilman John Coyle suggested authorizing the roadway repairs to go out to bid, and the resolution was passed.
Carelli also reported that the borough had previously authorized $975,000 for water main improvements, but now that figure has been amended to $1.475 million. To pay off the loans quicker, Carelli suggested paying off one-tenth of the principal plus interest, which could result in an increase in each resident’s water bill of about $60.
Hauser stated that he would support Carelli paying off the principal and that it was the prudent decision.
Brook Flooding Committee is Created
Councilman John Kelley read a letter from Daniel Flynn of 21 Westfield Avenue whose home has been having flooding problems. The letter stated that, in August, Flynn built a retaining wall in his backyard to secure his property; the wall cost more than $50,000 and was the third wall that he’s had erected in the last 13 years. Flynn’s home is near the Pine Brook which feeds into the pond at Grover Cleveland Park. The letter stated that water from developed areas and street runoff is directed to the Pine Brook and exceeds the brook’s water capacity. An Army Corp of Engineers study from August 2007 stated that there are dangers to properties along the brook if left unabated. A committee was formed back in 2007 to address issues such as these, but no solutions were found.
Kelley expressed that he would like to pursue a resolution to address Pine Brook and other borough brook’s flooding, and form a long-overdue committee. The new committee will address how the borough manages storm water, and will include Dassing, Kelley and O’Donnell. The mayor added that flooding is a recurring problem that is worse with all of the recent storms.
The mayor added, “Good things come to those who wait.”
Police Force to Add One Sergeant
Caldwell’s Police Chief Bongiorno intends to continue with his two-year plan of bringing the police department up to proper staffing by adding an additional sergeant within the borough. Two lieutenants are set to retire in November, and Bongiorno said he plans to promote a patrolman to sergeant at that time.
The plan will enable Bongiorno to rotate lieutenants, schedule extra supervision and help with overtime. Bongiorno added that the addition will enable additional staffing on weekends, which is typically patrolled by just three officers, and reduce liability. The borough currently has five sergeants.
Shop Caldwell to Be in Effect by Mother’s Day
The mayor reported that 12 merchants have already signed on for the Shop Caldwell program, and the borough needs another eight to pursue the program. Dassing explained that once the program is in place, each resident will receive a Shop Caldwell card, which is preloaded with discounts. Then, the total spent at participating merchants will be deducted from property taxes, or residents can choose to receive a check. The Caldwell Merchant’s Association is sponsoring the program, and the mayor said they hope to roll out the program by Mother’s Day, May 12.
Caldwell Sees FEMA Reimbursements for 2012 Storm
Mayor Dassing said that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) awarded the borough $118,991, as a 30-day reimbursement for public works personnel and police department overtime, incurred during Hurricane Sandy. Carelli reported that he also submitted for debris removal and fire department overtime reimbursements. Carelli said that the borough has already received $85,000 to date from FEMA for Hurricanes Sandy and Irene expenses, but there is another $50,000 of bills already paid that has not been submitted.
Residents Express Concerns
Hilda B. Moore of 23 Personette Street in Caldwell expressed concerns over the traffic light on Bloomfield Avenue that turns onto Roseland, stating that it is dangerous to wait for the green arrow. Dassing explained that this issue was already brought up to the county, and it was turned down. The mayor suggested obtaining a sign that says “delayed green arrow.”
Hilda B. Moore Credit: Krysta Venturella
Moore also said that she has seen many drivers speed through the Cook’s Lane municipal parking lot, off of Personette Street, adding that a driver almost hit her last week. Bongiorno said he will have an officer monitor this area. Moore suggested adding speed bumps to Personette Street, and O’Donnell said he would add it to his list.
Resident Michael Mignone, of 23 Westfield Avenue in Caldwell (previously covered in Councilman Hopes for Apology from Borough Attorney; Borough Attorney Says Councilman Came to an Ambush Without Ammunition and Caldwell Council Supports Highlands Water Protection and Planning Act), stated that this was his fifth visit before the Caldwell Council, and asked why the Caldwell Community Center, “supports abuse and neglect of community center members.” He asked the council members where the community center stands in regards to children, and said that there aren’t any rules and regulations. Mignone again expressed that there are limited options for children to do at the community center; basketball and swimming in the pool.
Hauser stated that there are rules, but they not posted yet, and, “to suggest there aren’t any isn’t accurate.” Borough Attorney Gregory Mascera spoke up, stating that Mignone’s issues have been addressed and he received a refund for the time lost at the community center last year. Mascera suggested that Mignone wait for the rules and regulations to be published, and then decide if he and his family would like to become members again. In regards to scooters and other activities, Mascera said that it is a liability issue to have children riding scooters, for instance, while others are playing basketball in the community center gym.
Carelli stated that the community center board took Mignone’s suggestions seriously, and that the rules are now under review and will be posted soon.
For further information:
Borough of Caldwell
Mayor: Ann Dassing
1 Provost Square
Caldwell, N.J. 07006