The recent Old Bridge Township Council meeting highlighted the achievements of local heroes, the positive results from the 2023 financial audit, and the commendable scores from the best practices inventory. The council also discussed issues such as the sale of Martin Street, new speed limit ordinances, and concerns raised by residents during the public comment period.
At the council meeting, Mayor Owen Henry recognized the exceptional accomplishments of 16-year-old Daa Dingra who represented Team USA in the Women’s Cricket World Cup, Jadak Kichic, a local resident who served as a contingent Marshall in the New York City Polish Day Parade, and Michael, a young boy with a rare neurological disorder who represented New Jersey in the National Special Olympics Games. Each of these individuals was honored for their exceptional achievements and contributions.
The council also expressed satisfaction with the results of the 2023 financial audit, presented by Brian Waldren from the auditing firm. The audit showed a healthy surplus of fund balance of $13.5 million, representing about 22% of the township’s appropriations, an indication of the township’s robust financial health. Council members thanked the auditors for their diligent work.
The best practices inventory, which assesses the municipality’s compliance with laws and operational best practices, was another highlight of the meeting. The inventory covered a range of topics including ethics, budget, transparency, and shared services. Old Bridge scored well with 38.5 out of 42 possible points, ensuring no loss of state aid, which the council members regarded as a commendable performance.
The council also addressed a range of legislative matters during the meeting. These included the release of a performance guarantee for the construction of an apartment building by Benster Oldbridge LLC, the resending of an article in the township code that designated the Old Bridge Housing Authority as a Redevelopment agency, and the vacation and proposed sale of a portion of Martin Street to accommodate a developer’s request for a larger sideyard.
The council considered introducing a new ordinance regarding speed limits within the township, particularly in The Oaks residential development. The proposed ordinance sets the speed limit at 35 mph on Schulmeister and Aster Circle, with a reduced speed of 30 mph in certain areas where geometry requires it.
In the public comment section, residents raised a variety of concerns. These included the potential environmental impact of local development on wildlife, the increase in hate crimes nationwide, and the need for greater respect for diversity within the community. Council members engaged with these concerns, offering to meet with individuals to discuss their concerns further.