Howell Town Council Meeting Divulges Major Projects, Honors Public Works Employees and Addresses Public Concerns

The recent Howell Town Council meeting was abound with discussions on ordinances, recognition of major accomplishments in public works, and the council’s response to public concerns. The council honored Steven Rosen and Paul Noell for their exceptional work in the Department of Public Works (DPW) and addressed issues regarding the town’s budget, rental inspections, and land ordinances.

The meeting began with commendations for DPW employees Steven Rosen and Paul Noell. Rosen was recognized for his achievement in winning the New Jersey chapter of the American Public Works Association Employee Award. Noell was lauded for his leadership in the Passive Outdoor Recreation Project, which earned the 2023 NJWA Public Works Project of the Year award. Mayor Theresa Berger and the council expressed their pride in the DPW’s accomplishments.

The council proceeded to discuss the town’s budget hearings, with Council Member Evelyn O’Donnell voicing concerns about the annual rental and inspection requirements’ workload. The need for additional staff to handle rental and lead paint inspections, and landlord insurance requirements were highlighted by Council Member Ian Nadel and Matt Howard, the town’s code enforcement officer. The council strived to strike a balance between fair costs for landlords and the taxpayers’ burden.

Among the adopted ordinances, the creation of a new zone for Highway Development 1 South and the rezoning of properties along Route 9 to HD1S were notable. The council was responsive to public input, rejecting one proposed ordinance – 2338, which aimed to change the zoning of certain properties to a Special Economic Development 1 (SED1) Zone. This decision was influenced by resident Betty Valet Gimal, who advocated for an alternative zoning recommendation to preserve the rural character of Victory Road.

Further, the council addressed public comments and concerns during the meeting. One resident questioned the council about an ongoing Resource Engineering project settlement, leading the council to clarify that a public presentation would be scheduled after the settlement. The suggestion of live streaming planning board and zoning board meetings for increased transparency was also taken into consideration by the council.

The meeting concluded with the council announcing the acquisition of the Cornerstone property and the process of seeking reimbursement from Green Acres and Monmouth County. A resident praised the decision to change the farmers market date due to inclement weather and expressed appreciation for Paul Noell’s efforts.

Did we get something wrong? Let us know.
Mayor:
Theresa Berger
City Council Officials:
Evelyn O’Donnell, Susan Fischer, Fred Gasior, Ian Nadel

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