Haworth Council Greenlights Budget Increase and Infrastructure Improvements

In a crucial meeting held on June 13, 2023, the Haworth Borough Council made significant strides, passing key budgetary and infrastructural decisions while renewing several licenses. Headlining the meeting was the unanimous approval of Ordinance No. 23-10-2023 CAP Ordinance, allowing a 3.5% increase in the municipality’s annual budget, an uptick beyond the set local government cap.

Led by Mayor Heather Wasser, the council saw the ordinance as a necessary move for promoting the health, safety, and welfare of the citizens. The additional $65,102 allocation forms part of the broader financial maneuvering observed throughout the session.

A hot topic was the discussion and public hearing around the Bergen County Open Trust Fund. Under the spotlight were slated improvements to Memorial Field, including new dugouts, bocci courts’ rehabilitation, a basketball court reconstruction, and fence repairs. Robert Hoyng, chairman of the recreation commission, confirmed these propositions, presenting a rejuvenated future for the town’s recreational facilities.

Mayor Wasser also provided updates on the ongoing Lake Shore Drive paving project. She assured residents would have continuous access to the street during the project, which includes water line services, test pits, new water meters, and other related work until July 24th.

Among newly introduced legislation, Ordinance 23-11, amending the 2023 Bond Ordinance (Ordinance 22-13), passed unanimously on its first reading. The bond ordinance pertains to various public improvements, acquisition of new or replacement equipment, and machinery, along with new information technology and communication systems equipment.

Councilmembers Rosenberg and Siciliano found themselves newly appointed as the Borough’s representative and alternate representative, respectively, to the Community Development Regional Committee for FY 2023-2024. A cooperative agreement for Urban County Community Development Block Grant CDBG Entitlement Program, Home Investment Partnership Act Program, and Emergency Solutions Grant for Program Years July 2024 – June 30, 2027, also received the council’s approval.

The local business community celebrated the approval of the 2023-24 Liquor Licenses, confirming the applicants’ compliance with all statutory, regulatory, and local government ABC laws and regulations. Plenary Retail Consumption Licenses were renewed for Sailor Mutt Inc. and White Beeches Golf & Country Club, a Club License for Lake Shore Golf, Athletic & Recreation Club of Haworth, NJ, and a Plenary Retail Distribution License for Haworth Fine Wine and Spirits.

A significant infrastructural development for bikers was approved as the council greenlit a grant application for a bikeway along Lake Shore Drive, which is part of NJDOT’s Bikeways program. Another grant application targeting the resurfacing and safety improvements on Garfield Street, Brook Street, and Hoover Way was also sanctioned.

In terms of local services, Jesus Cervantes was awarded a contract to operate a food concession stand at the Haworth Swim Club for the 2023 pool season, subject to certain conditions. The council also approved a contract with Zambelli Fireworks for a 2023 fireworks display.

During the open discussion, the council took note of a resident’s concerns about speeding on Madison Avenue and Whitman Street, promising additional enforcement, improved signage, and potential speed humps.

The meeting concluded with plans for interviewing candidates for the Chief Financial Officer position. The process will be conducted by the Mayor and three council members.

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