Highland Park Embraces Solar Future with Community Solar Program

Highland Park Borough Council, in a recent meeting, took steps toward a renewable future by discussing participation in the state’s Community Solar program, addressing a critical water main break, and announcing initiatives to enhance local services and community programs. The Council’s engagement with the Community Solar program stood out as a noteworthy event.

The discussion involved several resolutions aimed at forwarding the Borough’s involvement in the program. A resolution to submit an application to the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities was a focal point, alongside another resolution aimed at identifying a third-party developer for the project. The Council also spotlighted a supportive agreement with Gable Associates, which would facilitate the Borough’s participation in the solar program without incurring any cost to Highland Park.

The solar initiative was not the only environmental effort highlighted. The Council announced plans to plant 72 trees as part of a spring tree planting initiative, emphasizing their dedication to environmental stewardship. Additionally, the success of the plastic bag reduction act was mentioned.

Public services also featured prominently in the meeting. The water main break on South Fifth Avenue necessitated immediate attention, with road closures and police dispatch notifications being integral parts of the response. The Public Works committee chair reported on the situation, which highlighted the Borough’s quick action in addressing infrastructure emergencies.

Further enhancing community services, the Council encouraged residents to schedule bulk waste collection appointments, a move that aligns with the Borough’s emphasis on maintaining a clean and well-managed living environment. The Administrator reported on the availability of motor vehicle services at the Welit Pavilion, providing residents with easier access to these essential services.

In the realm of public health and safety, the Health and Human Services Board of Health reported collaborations with the police department for gun storage safety presentations. The increase in families needing food pantry services was also noted, revealing ongoing social challenges and needs within the community.

The Borough’s cultural and recreational life was not overlooked. The Library’s ongoing improvements and upcoming events were discussed, including a Gratitude tree presentation by the UN relations commission and an art event at the Zimmerli Museum. The Arts and Rec Committee highlighted a variety of programs, such as tax preparation assistance, a St. Patrick’s Day luncheon, and summer camp registrations, which contribute to the vibrant community life in Highland Park.

The Public Safety Report included plans for a community kite-making event. Additionally, the challenges faced by the mobile Motor Vehicle Commission truck were addressed.

In administrative matters, the Borough Council extended the deadline for the Park Partners Grant applications, providing more opportunities for community groups to secure funding for local projects. The Council also paused to observe a moment of silence for a deceased resident.

Finally, the meeting concluded with the public comments portion, which opened the floor for residents to voice their concerns and opinions, and the adoption of consent agenda items. A resolution to amend the 2024 Municipal temporary budget was also adopted.

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.
Elsie Foster
City Council Officials:
Matthew Hersh, Tara Canavera, Philip George, Matthew Hale, Stephany Kim Chohan, Jason Postelnik

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