River Edge Borough Council Approves Memorial Plaque and Discusses Park Improvements and Cannabis Ordinance

In a recent River Edge Borough Council meeting, several decisions were made regarding community honors, park improvements, and updates to the cannabis ordinance. The council approved a memorial plaque for Air Force veteran Elliot Gof and discussed extensive improvements to KGB park, including the potential addition of pickleball courts. Furthermore, the meeting addressed amendments to the cannabis overlay zone ordinance, focusing on security requirements and operational aspects of cannabis establishments.

The council granted approval for a granite memorial plaque to be placed in Veterans Memorial Park to honor the late Elliot Gof, a former resident and Air Force veteran who passed away from leukemia. Raymond Stits, a local veteran, advocated for the plaque, highlighting Gof’s community involvement and military service. The council moved this item up on the agenda. The project is set to proceed under the borough administrator’s guidance, with coordination from various departments.

Following this, the council engaged in a discussion on the proposed improvements to KGB park, addressing the park’s current poor condition exacerbated by recent flooding. Jason Flores, an engineer from Costa Engineering, presented a plan to revamp the park with updated amenities, including a parking lot, fencing, netting, and the potential for new pickleball courts. The proposal included working within flood zone restrictions and possibly utilizing grant funding for certain aspects of the project. The idea of adding pickleball courts garnered unanimous support from the council, acknowledging the community’s demand for such facilities. However, the council deliberated extensively on the project’s funding, exploring options like repurposing old encumbrances and seeking grants.

A specific concern addressed during the meeting was the high cost of relocating batting cages, with Councilman David Glass questioning the expense and Councilwoman Michelle Kaufman emphasizing the necessity for flood-resistant installations. The council resolved to further discuss the capital allocation at an upcoming budget committee meeting.

The potential delays in receiving responses from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) concerning wetlands and flood elevation lines also surfaced as a issue. Councilman Barry Benson articulated concerns about how these delays might affect the approval of park projects and the timing of capital allocation. This uncertainty prompted the council to acknowledge the need for timely and accurate information to guide their decisions.

In addition to park improvements, the council tackled the revision of the cannabis overlay zone ordinance. The discussion centered on security measures for cannabis establishments, with Councilman Benson questioning whether to specify the number of armed security personnel. The council opted for a flexible approach, allowing for coordination with the police department. Other debated topics included the prohibition of on-premises consumption and open packaging of cannabis products, and establishing an annual fee for cannabis businesses.

The council also addressed an ordinance amendment to increase the clothing allowance reimbursement for volunteer firefighters and change the disbursement date. Moreover, they authorized a special emergency appropriation for a GIS system to aid in stormwater regulation compliance.

Note: This meeting summary was generated by AI, which can occasionally misspell names, misattribute actions, and state inaccuracies. This summary is intended to be a starting point and you should review the meeting record linked above before acting on anything you read. If we got something wrong, let us know. We’re working every day to improve our process in pursuit of universal local government transparency.
Thomas Papaleo
City Council Officials:
Michelle Kaufman, Barry Benson, David Glass, Klodiana Malellari, Lissa Montisano-Koen, Indira Kinsella

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