In a recent Ramsey Borough Council meeting, topics included concerns over pedestrian safety, the approval of a union agreement, the purchase of a new police vehicle, and the initiation of several community improvement projects. These discussions and subsequent decisions were the culmination of discussions by council members Peter Kilman, Jane Woods, Michael Gutwetter, Judy Cusick, Sara Poppe, Glen Popolo, and Mayor Deirdre A. Dillon.
Chance Parker, a local resident, voiced concerns about pedestrian safety in Ramsey, specifically mentioning the absence of crosswalks on South Central and Orchard Street. Parker called for a more comprehensive, systematic approach to the issue, emphasizing the lack of sidewalks near schools. In response to Parker’s comments, Mayor Dillon acknowledged ongoing efforts with the Ramsey Police Department’s traffic group to address pedestrian safety.
Among the resolutions approved during the meeting, two gathered attention. The first involved a collective bargaining agreement with local union 125, representing non-supervisory DPW employees. Borough Administrator Bruce Bose recommended the agreement, which includes 2% annual salary increases from 2022 to 2025, and eliminates compensation for unused sick time. The resolution was approved by the council.
The second resolution involved the purchase of a new police vehicle costing $39,692.0 using American Rescue Plan funds. The vehicle will replace the current tour Commander vehicle, which will then be reassigned to the traffic Bureau, extending its service life.
Additionally, the council discussed and approved several resolutions related to community improvements. Resolutions 209 and 210 awarded contracts to Land Associates for preliminary engineering services for field and lighting improvements at various parks and fields. These improvements, proposed by the Ramsey Sports Organization, will include the installation of artificial turf multisport playing surfaces and the addition of lighting for basketball and pickleball courts.
Resolution 211 approved a budget appropriation transfer to reallocate funds between line items in the 2023 budget. The transfer aims to balance increased operating expenses in areas such as pool utility and water and sewer utility with adjustments in discretionary lines, ensuring a net neutral budget without tax impact.
The council also authorized the submission of a grant application to the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs for the fiscal year 2024 American Rescue Plan Firefighter Grant Program. This grant seeks $75,000 in funding for the Ramsey Fire Department to acquire fire protection cleaning and sanitation equipment.
The council recognized the achievements of the Ramsey High School boys’ and girls’ soccer teams, both of whom won state championships, and congratulated Anthony Padilla and James Henderson on their appointments to the Ramsey Fire Department. Councilwoman Cusick and Councilman Gutwetter expressed their gratitude for being reelected and thanked voters for their support.
In other news, the Design Review Board approved an application for New Jersey Health and Wellness. The Senior Trustees Board reported an increase in membership and expressed gratitude for volunteer recognition. Councilwoman Woods mentioned that the Ramsey Golf and Country Club will be closed for renovations, and the council is exploring new venues for next year’s events.