Cedar Grove Council Moves Forward with Inclusive Playground Project, Appoints New Fire Chief

In a notable move to enhance local community facilities, the Cedar Grove Town Council has unanimously approved a resolution to apply for state funding for the renovation of the lower playground in Community Park. The approval came during a council meeting on January 8, 2024, which also saw the ceremonial swearing-in of a new fire chief and discussions on other key township matters.

The playground project, which is estimated to cost $1.2, aims to create a fully revitalized and inclusive space with ADA-compliant features, seating areas for parents, and new shade trees. Alexander Hand, Township Engineer from Suburban Consulting Engineers, presented the plans, emphasizing the project’s inclusive nature. The council discussed the need for a resolution to apply for the Green Acres Program grant, with the application deadline set for February 7th. If successful, the township could receive a 75% match from the state program. Council members, including Deputy Mayor Scaglione and Councilwoman Michele Mega, expressed support for the project, reflecting substantial public feedback in the plans.

Former Chief Lee Peterson administered the oath, with Councilman John Zazzali praising Donlin’s dedication and leadership. Mayor Kerry Peterson and other council members also extended their gratitude to outgoing Chief Gro and welcomed Chief Donlin. The new chief expressed his thanks and introduced the line officers for 2024.

The council unanimously approved the minutes from the December 4, 2023, meeting and then addressed several resolutions. These included the 2024 temporary budget, the temporary pool capital budget, interest on delinquent taxes, petty cash funds, and the cash management plan for 2024. Two pending ordinances were also considered: one to exceed the municipal budget appropriation limits and establish a cap bank, and another to amend the membership of the fire department. Both ordinances were approved and scheduled for public hearings in February.

In official reports, Township Manager Mr. Zelli highlighted the upcoming budget hearings and the decision to distribute the budget electronically. He lauded the Department of Public Works (DPW) for their diligent storm preparation and road maintenance, a sentiment echoed by Councilwoman Mega and Deputy Mayor Scaglione, particularly in light of a recent snowstorm.

Councilman Joseph Maceri broached a new bill related to COA (Council on Affordable Housing) and planned to give a more comprehensive report at the subsequent council meeting. Meanwhile, the Township Clerk and Township Attorney had no reports to present.

The open session for residents saw Kate Harwick from Essex County announcing a deer management program in local reservations. Resident Michael Ferrara addressed the council to apologize to Mayor Peterson for a past social media post and congratulated Mr. Zelli on his new role as Township Manager. He also inquired about the history and artist of a mural at South End School.

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:
Kerry Peterson
City Council Officials:
Melissa Skabich, Michele Mega, John Zazzali, Joseph Maceri

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