Belmar Borough Council Discusses Initiatives: Affordable Housing Trust Fund, Feral Cat Program, and Plastic Recycling Pilot

The Belmar Borough Council recently met to discuss a range of issues, from establishing an affordable housing trust fund and implementing a feral cat neutering program to a plastic film recycling pilot. The council also addressed the potential of altering beach badge fees and concerns about local infrastructure.

The council’s top-priority topic was the establishment of a trust fund for affordable housing development fees. Resolution 239, which pertains to this project, stated that the trustees of the fund would include the CFO, their backup, and one or two council members as authorized signers on the bank accounts. The council agreed that donations to the trust fund would be accepted and used solely for affordable housing, although it acknowledged the need for further investigation into potential administrative costs.

One topic that garnered substantial enthusiasm was the progress on the trap, neuter, and release program for feral cats. The council had received a memorandum of understanding from the Monmouth SPCA and were excited to collaborate with them. The program entailed volunteers as colony caregivers, who would tend to the cats post-neutering. A limit of 100 cats to be neutered annually was set, with the borough sharing the neutering cost with the SPCA.

The council also discussed a proposal from the Environmental Commission for a one-year pilot program on plastic film recycling. The program, serviced by a company named UNW, aimed to reduce costs and environmental impact by transforming plastic film into objects like benches. The council agreed to invite a representative from the company, Mike B, to present the program to the residents.

Councilwoman Caitlin Donovan announced several upcoming events, while other council members congratulated her on her recent election win. Councilwoman Maria Rondinaro reported on committee meetings and upcoming school events, also drawing attention to the recent increase in vehicle and home burglaries, urging residents to take necessary precautions.

In discussing beach badge fees, the council explained an ordinance aiming to change the fee-setting process from an ordinance to a resolution for more flexibility in adjusting fees. This change may lead to a fee increase starting January 8th, although residents could purchase badges at the current prices before that date.

The council also touched upon local infrastructure issues, noting the crumbling pavement at the town’s sole gas station, located at 16th and Main. It was suggested that this might be due to poor soil consolidation during a remediation process.

The matter of converting garages into pool houses sparked debate. The council decided to refer the issue back to the planning board for further review and clarification. In response to residents’ concerns expressed during the public session, the council acknowledged the need for further investigation on matters such as the safety of the freight elevator during repairs and the interpretation of the pool house ordinance.

In closing, the council approved resolution 2023 231, appointing a fire administrator, and passed two ordinances amending the development regulations of the revised general ordinances and the fees section of the borough code.

Potential changes to the Main Street Bridge were also broached, with the Department of Transportation proposing either a new construction or a renovation. The council discussed the impact on businesses and the need to maintain marine traffic during construction, suggesting a parallel bridge to avoid disruption.

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.

Gerald Buccafusco
City Council Officials:
Mark Levis, Maria Rondinaro, Caitlin Donovan, Dr. Jodi Kinney

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