Old Tappan Council Addresses Borough-Wide Challenges

A regular meeting of the Old Tappan Borough Council was recently held to address a variety of pressing issues, focusing primarily on amendments to local ordinances and matters of civic significance. The assembly led by Mayor Kramer, in which Council members Boyd, Carnaza, Gallagher, Guan, and Yip participated, touched upon many topics, from sanitary sewer charges and police salaries to street excavation and contractor mishaps.

Council members were particularly engaged in discussions regarding three ordinances, 1231-23, 1232-23, and 1233-23. The first of these sought to modify the Chapter 198 of the code concerning sanitary sewer service charges. Despite being opened for public commentary, no responses were received, leading to the ordinance’s successful adoption.

Ordinance 1233-23 proposed to adjust the salaries, wages, and compensation of the police department for the years 2019-2022. Its unanimous adoption indicated a shared understanding among the Council about the need for this change. Additionally, another ordinance, 1234-23, which fixes the police department’s salary for the years 2023-2025, was also successfully passed.

The issue of a proposed street excavation for new water services at 140 Old Tappan Road and 12 Kristin also led to stimulating discussions. The Council agreed on a solution that minimized disruption to the recently paved roads by choosing alternative connection points and limiting the width of the necessary curb-to-curb cut.

In addition to these concrete matters, there was an impassioned debate around the removal and possible replacement of trees that had previously contributed to flooding issues. As Council member Tom highlighted, the forthcoming soil survey results would heavily influence the final decision. He argued that replacement might reinstate the problematic root systems that had been causing flooding.

Other engaging discussions included an upcoming paving project on Central Avenue, concerns about unfinished tasks by contractors, and an important conversation about a 26-unit development on Central Avenue. The latter provoked a significant response, with one Council member denouncing the developer’s proposal to construct eight units elsewhere as a “terrible idea.”

The Council also responded to a request from a State Senator, who urged the Council to support Senate bill 3906, a property tax bill that could bring considerable benefits to New Jersey residents.

While the meeting navigated these serious and multifaceted challenges, the council members also found time to celebrate the community’s successes. These included the well-received Touch-A-Truck event and Memorial Day Parade, the conclusion of the local baseball and softball seasons, and increased student interest in service academies. They also anticipated the installation of nets for pickleball, reflecting a commitment to enriching local recreational facilities.

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