Green Committee Meets COAH Deadline
Tuesday, July 10, 2012 • 11:33pm
GREEN TOWNSHIP. NJ – With only eight days until the state-imposed deadline, the Green Township Committee Monday, July 9, authorized the use of its Council on Affordable Housing Funds.
The fund represents Green's Round 2 funding, Committeeman Chris Bilik explained. Gov. Chris Christie suspended COAH before the Round 3 funds were issued.
Mayor James Chirip explained, “We are buying existing market-value units and reducing the cost to sell to low or moderate income people at an affordable rate.”
The committee authorized Township Clerk Linda Perala to work with the township’s COAH consultant, Vito Gallo, to negotiate the purchase.
It took an hour-long executive session for the committee to come to the decision what to do with the funding. They were able to meet in closed session because the discussion involved a real-estate purchase. That is also the reason they didn’t release the exact amount of the funds because they don’t want to influence the price at which the property is offered.
Chirip also said he didn’t know how many residences would be purchased. He said they, along with Gallo, have looked as several properties.
Another topic of discussion, this one brought to the committee by resident Barbara Schultz, was the intersection of County Route 517 and Scenic Drive.
Schultz said there is limited sight distance for a car pulling out of Scenic Drive onto Route 517. Since that is a county road, she spoke to the Sussex County Engineer’s Office but was told the township could remedy the situation by making Scenic Drive one-way going in from the county route. She said the only reason for the sight distance problem is the resident at the corner planted foliage that blocks the view.
Since there was a fatality at the intersection about four years ago, she asked the homeowner if he would trim the bushes, but he has not, she said.
Chirip said the county could cut back the bushes but is “shirking its responsibility.”
Since the township has no local police force, the only enforcement of a one-way street would be the state police. The committee will continue that discussion at a future meeting.
On other matters, the committee voted unanimously to appoint Michael Beersma to the planning board to fill the unexpired term of Marie Bilik. The term expires Dec. 31, 2012. They also appointed Jason Reinbold to the zoning board of adjustment to fill an unexpired term of Jack Granger. The term expires De. 31, 2013.
The committee also authorized the township Department of Public Works to spend no more than $1,000 to purchase a baby swing for the township park. The swing will replace one of the regular swings. A new park subcommittee consisting of committee members Daniel Conkling and Peg Phillips will discuss what may eventually be done to improve playground equipment and also will set guidelines for private use of the park as well as for the use during township events. The township clerk and director of emergency management will consult with the subcommittee.
The next meeting will be moved from Aug. 13, but the date has not been set. Committeeman Roger Michaud was held up at work, and unable to make the meeting; his input is needed before the August meeting is rescheduled. Once it is, the committee will discuss a new lease for the Greendell Post Office.
The post office lease doesn’t expire until May 2012, but the USPS is entering into negotiations now. The township owns both the buildings housing the Greendell and Tranquility Post Offices and would like to negotiate both at the same time, but Perala said “the company hired by USPS won’t talk about Tranquility.”
The USPS wants a five-year lease with no increases, but the committee wants to determine exactly how much the township makes from the rentals.