Bedminster Discusses New Crime Protection Ordinance

The Bedminster Township Committee convened on March 4th, 2024, to discuss a range of issues, with the introduction of a new ordinance aimed at enhancing resident protection against property crimes, including car thefts, taking center stage. The ordinance, similar to one adopted by Bernards Township, was presented by the attorney and is set for a public hearing on March 18th. The discussion was part of a meeting that also touched on public works maintenance, community policing, and the impact of recent storms on township infrastructure.

The proposed ordinance would establish a separate violation for each attempt to commit a crime, such as burglary or car theft, in a neighboring property. This move to bolster local law enforcement’s ability to protect residents and their property is a direct response to the rising concern over property crimes in the area. The specific provisions of the ordinance include measures for motor vehicle and residence protection, with a clear outline of the corresponding penalties for violations.

In addition to the ordinance, the committee addressed the adjustment of salaries for the local police association, PBA number 36, for the year 2023. This included approving retroactive pay adjustments for a retired sergeant. Furthermore, the committee approved a bill, subject to review of individual invoices.

The township committee also tackled updates from the Department of Public Works (DPW), which included challenges faced during recent storm events that have affected infrastructure. Roof repairs and road maintenance were highlighted as areas of focus. The Police Chief updated the committee on community policing efforts, noting the presence of officers at public events as part of the strategy to maintain public safety and strengthen community relations.

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Among the business items, the committee reviewed the progress of Altice in expanding fiber optic service to local neighborhoods, specifically the Hills, as well as the status of agreements with associations concerning the installation of this infrastructure. In the realm of public safety, the installation of license plate readers was a topic of discussion, with an emphasis on securing funding for this initiative. The Public Safety Committee has been exploring funding sources and has reached out to various organizations to support this technology, which is intended to aid in crime prevention and investigation.

The township’s infrastructure and utilities were also on the agenda, with an update on the Lamington Road crosswalk timing and a detailed overview of a significant rate case filed by New Jersey American Water. The water company has proposed a 17.3% rate increase, a matter of considerable interest to residents and the committee alike.

The impact of windstorms and subsequent power outages were discussed as community concerns, emphasizing the need for efficient response and communication during such events. Furthermore, the committee noted the Public Safety Committee’s report on attending an extrication drill hosted by the Far Hills Bedminster Fire Department, which provided an opportunity to observe the new rescue tools in action.

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The meeting, which moved through its agenda without public hearings, also allowed for the approval of permits for seasonal Farmers Markets and social events. These permits are essential for facilitating community activities and supporting local organizations.

Note: This meeting summary was generated by AI, which can occasionally misspell names, misattribute actions, and state inaccuracies. This summary is intended to be a starting point and you should review the meeting record linked above before acting on anything you read. If we got something wrong, let us know. We’re working every day to improve our process in pursuit of universal local government transparency.

Mayor:
Lawrence F. Jacobs
City Council Officials:
Douglas A. Stevinson, Gina Lisa-Fernandez, R. Colin Hickey, Renee Mareski

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