Saddle Brook Secures $1 Million Grant for Emergency Generator

The Saddle Brook Town Council recently convened to address a variety of community concerns and developments. Of particular note was the announcement of a $1 million Congressional appropriation grant awarded to the township for an emergency generator for the Municipal complex, a infrastructure improvement. The meeting also detailed the cost of the new town hall building, set at $28 million, and the passage of ordinances related to electric scooter regulations and short-term rental bans. Furthermore, discussions on the Mayor’s Youth Group activities, upcoming community events, and ongoing infrastructure projects, such as road paving and water main replacements, were topics of the meeting. In response to a resident’s frustration over increased water rates and property taxes, the council highlighted the necessity of including cost details in every resolution.

The council expressed gratitude for this financial support, which will underpin the community’s safety and preparedness.

Another issue tackled by the council was the introduction and debate over new ordinances. The first ordinance, aimed at amending the township’s vehicles and traffic regulations, was inspired by the Hoboken model but tailored to suit Saddle Brook’s specific needs. This ordinance, which includes provisions for electric scooter safety, passed on first reading and awaits final passage on May 16th, 2024. Residents voiced safety concerns regarding electric scooters, prompting discussions on potentially restricting them to single-passenger use.

The second ordinance concerned short-term rental properties, proposing a ban on rentals for periods of less than 28 days in any zoning district. This sparked a debate among council members regarding the fines for violations and the enforcement agencies involved. After deliberation, an amendment to include the building department, police department, and Fire Prevention Bureau as enforcement bodies was passed. However, the council did not reach a consensus on the proposed fine adjustments.

In addition to ordinances, the council addressed the community’s financial concerns. A resident’s dissatisfaction with the increase in water rates led to a dialogue about the water company’s pricing and the impact on taxpayers. In light of this, the council discussed the potential effects of rising house values on taxes and the need for transparency in the utility budgets.

Updates on the Mayor’s Youth Group included their participation in the successful Easter celebration and the organization of an Earth Day cleanup event.

Infrastructure projects received considerable attention, with plans for the 2024 Paving Program and efforts to mitigate flooding issues along the Saddle River being outlined. The upcoming closure of Saddle River Road for bridge work was also discussed, including the strategy for resident notification and traffic management. Council members shared their advocacy for resident concerns regarding parking issues on Ler Avenue and the management of Sheffer Foods, as well as for improvements in a county park playground.

The meeting additionally acknowledged Autism Awareness Month and included a discussion on the recent solar eclipse. Plans for community events, such as voter registration, police memorial, and a townwide garage sale, were announced. The council’s presence at these events, including the grand opening of a restaurant and the girls’ softball opening day, underscored their commitment to community engagement.

The council members’ well wishes to the fire department for their mutual aid in a neighboring town and to all mothers in honor of Mother’s Day further highlighted the personal connection between the council and the community.

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.
Robert D. White
City Council Officials:
Todd J. Accomando, Florence Mazzer, Andrew Cimiluca, Sarah Sanchez, David Gierek

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