The latest meeting of the Oradell Borough Council marked a poignant and momentous occasion, as they honored beloved local figures and advanced a broad array of civic and community initiatives.
The council began the meeting by dedicating time to remember Monsignor Hubba, a cherished local figure lauded for his wisdom, calm demeanor, and constant presence during community events. The council recognized Hubba’s contributions by dedicating a podium in his memory, celebrating him as a “gentleman scholar” whose legacy would continue to inspire the community. Father Christian expressed his gratitude for the tribute, recalling Hubba as a humble, loving, and kind person.
Community contributions were further celebrated as the council presented Ty Schneider with the Certificate of Recognition for his dedicated efforts in renovating the Oradell Community Gardens. Oradell Public Television (OPTV) was also recognized for its excellence in public education and government programming, with a recent win at the 2023 Jersey Access Group (JAG) awards.
The council discussed the allocation of fees collected from sports leagues and parties using local fields to offset the tax burden for Oradell residents, especially in light of potential future bond ordinances for replenishment. In negotiations with neighboring River Edge, the council emphasized the value of their fields for River Edge’s residents and programs.
In a bid to enhance local infrastructure, roadwork projects were prioritized, and three were awarded, including Prospect Ave phase three, Grant Avenue sidewalks, and a section of McKay Avenue. However, projects on Iroquois and Shara were postponed due to an unexpected gas mains replacement by PSE&G, which also plans to upgrade mains and services in Oradell to benefit residents.
The meeting addressed important legislative issues, most notably the approval of Ordinance number 23-6, titled “Streets and Sidewalks,” aimed at improving sidewalk safety. Amid discussions, the council clarified that homeowners are responsible for maintaining sidewalks, even when damage results from a town tree.
The council announced the awarding of an $80,221 state grant for the Lotus Woods project, discussed potential safety concerns about local soccer fields, and committed to honoring the Salinas family, recognizing their military service, as grand marshals of the 2023 4th of July parade.
The Special Events Committee is planning a series of summer events, including a concert series starting July 13th, while the council is simultaneously planning for an upcoming sustainable New Jersey Bergen County Hub meeting.
In administrative news, an IT consultant was hired to bolster the borough’s cybersecurity, updating the server, and providing employee training. The borough is also in the process of negotiations with the UPSU, a blue and white-collar union.
During the public comment session, Tom Kelly lauded the community work of Monsignor Hubba and Father Christian, commended Ty Schneider’s services, and acknowledged the success of the DPAC initiative. Paul Sunnis, on the other hand, raised concerns about inconsistencies between article 23-5 and the town’s master plan and zoning regulations.