Haworth Borough Council Advances Infrastructure Improvements and Creates Borough Historian Role

At a recent Haworth Borough Council meeting, presided over by Council President Glenn Poosikian in Mayor Heather Wasser’s absence, the council made decisions on infrastructure developments, public safety, and community engagement initiatives. The council approved a range of ordinances facilitating public improvements, including large-scale appropriations for various sectors through Ordinance 23-15 and the creation of a Borough Historian position to foster historical preservation and education in Haworth.

Under significant attention was the approval of Ordinance 23-15, which entails a total appropriation of $788,000 aimed at numerous public improvements and the acquisition of new equipment and machinery. Funding sources identified were a down payment of $38,000 and the authorization of bonds and notes totaling $750,000, with no increase to the municipality’s gross debt. Specific assets acquisition plans were set in motion, including the procurement of a 2023 Ford F250 Crew Cab and the initiation of the bid process for the St. Nicholas Pedestrian Bridge.

Adding a historic dimension to the borough’s administrative structure, the council enacted Ordinance 23-16 to establish an unsalaried Borough Historian role, entrusting an individual with the documentation and promotion of Haworth’s history through various platforms, including possible collaboration with local schools. The role encourages a proactive approach to historic preservation and could potentially lead to the formation of a dedicated committee or society for historical affairs, pending approval from the mayor and council.

The council further adopted two capital ordinances—23-13 and 23-14—outlining appropriations for swim pool improvements and various acquisitions, guaranteeing no debts incurred due to these actions. The financial trajectory of the borough was guided with scrutiny, as highlighted by the corrective action plan introduced by interim CFO Lauren J Roehrer, aiming at more stringent management of financial reports and adherence to state guidelines in procurement processes.

Infrastructure remained a focal point as the council pursued improvements on Maple and Park streets through a New Jersey Department of Transportation Municipal Aid Office grant amounting to $248,240, and sought approval for further enhancements to Lakeshore Drive via a bond ordinance. Councilwoman Lisa Dhamija provided an update on the ambulance squad’s recent activities.

In the same vein, Councilwoman Dina Siciliano brought attention to the activities of the swim club and a grant proposal initiated by the Shade Tree Commission to combat the Spotted Lantern Fly infestation. Councilman Andrew Rosenberg shed light on personnel matters, praising the new assistant in the police department and discussing upcoming emergency access point additions.

Matters of legal housekeeping were tended to with Borough Attorney Robert T. Regan overseeing the resolution of a property appeal and amendments to ordinances concerning certified copies fees and excavation regulations in streets, sidewalks, and curbs. The council showed readiness to respond to public concerns as demonstrated in their approach to a resident’s safety concerns raised during the public comment period.

Ensuring public safety remained a priority, evidenced by the approval of new AXON body-worn cameras for the police and continued support for the dual dispatch program with Demarest for efficient fire responses. The council remained committed to fostering healthy lifestyles, backing the Walk Back-to-School Challenge to potentially secure grant money for sidewalk installations.

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