Norwood Borough Council Greenlights $1.75M Public Bond

In a recent work session, the Norwood Borough Council approved several key measures and discussed a variety of topics that will impact local community life.

The meeting held on May 24, 2023, saw council members Ascolese, Brizzolara, Condoleo, Foschino, and Kim in attendance. Council President Hausmann was notably absent.

Among the high-priority decisions was the approval of Bond Ordinance 2023:10, a move that will authorize $1.75 million for public improvements, new equipment acquisitions, and various machinery. The approved bond highlights the council’s commitment to enhancing the borough’s infrastructure and service capabilities. The approval passed unanimously, although the public was non-participatory during the comment period.

Mayor Barsa also announced that the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission (NJ MVC) mobile unit will be available on June 1, providing a convenient service to Norwood citizens. This follows his acknowledgments for National Emergency Medical Services Week and National Public Works Week, demonstrating his appreciation for the essential community services.

One of the meeting’s unique highlights was the approval of a little free library at Kennedy Field, a proposal made by Northern Valley Rotary member Raymond Cywinski. The library, donated by the Rotary and built by its members, will be a community asset that reinforces the borough’s commitment to promoting literacy.

In addition to these approvals, the council members addressed several critical matters. Councilman Brizzolara queried the split payment for repairs to the Sewer Jet Vac Truck, which initiated a discussion on the cost-effectiveness of maintaining large, costly equipment versus contracting out jobs. This spurred a reconsideration of budget allocation.

The borough’s contractual obligations were also under scrutiny. Councilman Kim proposed a detailed review of these contracts, a move affirmed by Condoleo who suggested a thorough analysis of financial reports relating to these commitments. This initiative promises enhanced fiscal transparency and responsible governance.

Councilman Brizzolara raised significant questions regarding the Employee Handbook’s update, specifically targeting issues related to union employees’ bonuses, the holiday schedule, and sick leave policies for part-time workers. These questions led to a broader debate on employee benefits, a topic to be further discussed in future meetings.

In other notable matters, Resolution 2023:108 was approved, authorizing a service agreement with Neglia Engineering Associates for the Norwood Pickleball Courts. The Borough Administrator and Clerk reported on the upcoming Primary Elections and the introduction of new voting machines, providing a primer on the new voting process.

The Borough Engineer reported that the local dog park was nearing completion, the Walnut Street paving was finished, and a permit for the Hemlock sidewalks was soon to be issued.

Councilman Brizzolara informed the council about an upcoming meeting between Mayor Barsa and a representative from Rockland Electric, highlighting the planning stage of the Storm Protection Project involving the relocation of underground power lines.

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