Milltown Borough Council Debates Historic Preservation, Senior Center Services, and Insurance Coverage

The most significant aspects of the recent Milltown Borough Council meeting involved discussions about the establishment of a historic preservation commission, concerns about the Optima services at the senior center, and the urgent need for insurance coverage starting on January 1, 2024. These topics took center stage amidst an array of other issues discussed during the meeting, including departmental reports, community events, and personnel actions.

Randy Ruth, the chairman of the Milltown Preservation Committee, kicked off the meeting with a comprehensive presentation on the committee’s duties, challenges, and recommendations. Ruth emphasized the importance of preserving Milltown’s historical sites such as the Railroad Freight Station, the Historical Society buildings, the South Main Street Firehouse, and the Golden Lion building. He urged the Council and Mayor Trina Mehr to consider establishing a historic preservation commission and incorporating a preservation element into the master plan. Ruth also stressed the potential impact of development proposals on historical structures, advocating for clear guidelines and a balanced approach to development and preservation.

The Council also debated the services provided at the senior center, expressing concerns about Optima, the service provider. Council President Phil Zambrana shared updates about the activities and services offered at the Milltown Senior Center, including the Office of Aging’s programs and upcoming bus trips. The Council’s attention to senior services, combined with the concerns raised, underscored the importance of this issue to the community.

However, the most pressing topic of the meeting came in the form of the town’s need for insurance coverage starting on January 1, 2024. The Council engaged in heated discussions about the necessity of appointing a risk management professional and the implications of not having insurance coverage from the start of the new year. The debate centered around the urgency of the insurance issue, with Council members expressing concerns about the expiration of the current insurance with Middlesex County. The plan moving forward is to review the bids and make a recommendation for the December 26th meeting, where the Council intends to take action to sign up with a new insurance provider.

In addition to these topics, the meeting also included a plethora of departmental reports and updates. Notably, Councilwoman Margaret O’Donnell presented reports from the police and fire departments and the rescue squad, highlighting the commendable work of Patrolman Michael McCab and the upcoming retirements of Chief Brian Canelli and Lieutenant Daniel Kenon. Councilman Dave Potter provided updates from the Milltown Electric and Water Sewer Departments, while Councilman James Pareti highlighted ongoing programs and upcoming events from the Recreation Department.

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.

Trina Mehr
City Council Officials:
Phil Zambrana, Margaret O’Donnell, James Pareti, David Potter, Richard Revolinsky, John Collins

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