Stop Sign Controversy Takes Center Stage at Chatham Township Committee Work Meeting
Friday, September 14, 2012 • 1:47pm
CHATHAM TOWNSHIP, NJ - A stop sign controversy and the ailing skate park were the main topics of discussion at the Township of Chatham Workshop Meeting on Thursday night.
During the meeting, the Township Committee approved an ordinance that added a stop sign at the intersection of Floral Street and School Ave. The stop sign will make the intersection a four way stop for all drivers.
Committee members as well as the chief of police spoke in favor of the addition, to reduce the speed on the busy road, which is heavily traveled by children getting to and from school. Community residents, who live at the intersection also spoke - - some in favor, some opposed to the ordinance.
Ron Steinberg, who has lived on the block since 1983, said that the stop sign would generate more traffic on the street and was not the solution to the problem. He suggested that his neighbors should be held responsible for trimming the “vegetation” from around their property for make a clear line of sight for all drives at each corner of the intersection.
Now that the ordinance has been approved, this will be the first four way stop in the township according to the chief of police. Committee Member Brower commented that the issue could be revisited if the new plan does not help.
Also discussed at the meeting was the local skate park that has recently been closed because it is in need of major renovations.
In a lengthy discussion with many town officials, the Committee spoke about ways to more effectively assess the park as a whole and further consider its options for what Mayor Hagner called a potential “capital improvement project.”
According to the Committee, the park was shut down by the town’s insurance company, citing it as a liability due to the amount of repairs needed.
Town officials estimate that materials for the project alone would cost roughly forty to fifty thousand dollars. Much of the expense is because of the specific surfacing of the park.
The park was originally built in 2003. Nearly half of the roughly $200,000 it cost to build the park was raised by pubic donations to the project.
Public supporters spoke in favor of finding a solution to getting the park back up and running and two new local moms, Mary Rohe of Chatham Borough and Mimi Mehta of Chatham Township, volunteered to spearhead the new project. Mehta’s son Michael, a sophomore at Chatham High School, also commented about the need for the park in the community.
In other action:
- The Committee unanimously approved ordinance 2012-12, Bond Ordinance for Shunpike Field Improvements. The $60,000 for the project’s improvements was raised in part by the Chatham Athletic Association, Chatham Baseball and Softball Leagues and the Chatham Recreation Trust. The work is expected to begin by November.