The Harrington Park Borough Council convened on August 21, 2023, addressing a range of community concerns and developments. The meeting, led by Mayor Paul A. Hoelscher, saw discussions on fire safety measures, the progress of the Blanch Ave. speed study, and a resident’s request to dredge a local brook. Additionally, several resolutions were passed, including those related to community events, property tax adjustments, and municipal contracts.
Fire safety was a prominent topic, with Fire Chief Jesse Barragato emphasizing the need for an Automatic Fire Aid Agreement with neighboring towns Norwood, Northvale, and Rockleigh. This agreement aims to ensure timely and adequate response to fire incidents, a concern highlighted by a recent fire at 33 Maryann Lane. The incident also sparked discussions on the lack of response from the Bergen County Arson Squad, leading to considerations of contacting the State for future incidents. Fire Marshal Thomas Simpson reported on this and requested the council to inquire about the lack of response from the Prosecutor’s Office.
The progress of the Blanch Ave. speed study was inquired about by Janet Goodman, with Kunjesh Trivedi informing her of the ongoing communications with Bergen County. The council expressed hope for a positive outcome and the installation of a crosswalk on Blanch Ave. Another resident, Ms. McCarthy, approached the council with a request to start the application to dredge the brook behind her house, citing concerns about debris-filled water. The council tasked Mr. Trivedi with gathering more information on the matter.
Several resolutions were passed, including authorizations for Joey’s Charity Fund Organization’s signage, an off-premise raffle, amendments to job titles, and purchase contracts with approved vendors. Notably, Resolution# 2023-132 granted a property tax exemption and refund to disabled veteran Nicholas D’Amico. The council also approved a grant application for chemical treatment against the Spotted Lanternfly and initiated the bidding process for a new garbage collection and disposal contract.
The meeting also saw discussions on updating the ordinance regarding equipment damage, with the Fire Department seeking coverage for supplies damaged during calls. The council expressed gratitude to the Fire Department for their dedication, especially regarding the incident at 33 Maryann Lane. Fire Chief Barragato also raised concerns about potential health risks from being in the command vehicle and expressed a desire to establish a timeline to address these concerns.
In addition to these discussions, individual committee reports were presented, covering a range of activities and developments in the borough. The Recreation Commission discussed the installation of a Pickle Ball Court, and the HP Town Day was scheduled for September 9, 2023. The Borough Administrator reported on paving activities, the launch of the new borough website, and the completion of the Blanch Ave. speed study.
Old Business included expressions of gratitude towards various departments and individuals for supporting the National Night Out, with the new HP Superintendent of Schools commending Harrington Park for its community participation. A proposed ordinance regarding Privately-Owned Salt Storage was introduced, and Police Contract Negotiations were added to the agenda under Closed Session.