Verona Town Council Greenlights Community Projects, Talks Grants and Trees amid Civic Acceleration

The Verona Town Council recently convened to discuss several issues ranging from community development projects and grant funding to maintaining the town’s tree canopy and exploring energy efficiency programs. The meeting also witnessed recognition of local achievements and an emphasis on community services.

Mayor Christopher Tamburro opened the meeting with a note of gratitude to Verona voters for approving the open space trust fund ballot question and congratulated newly elected and re-elected officials. He lauded the Verona High School girls’ volleyball team for their championship wins and promoted the upcoming Thanksgiving food distribution event and the Holiday Lights at the Turtle Back Zoo.

A significant portion of the meeting was devoted to the council’s ongoing community support initiatives. The Lions Club Verona NJ was recognized for its commendable contributions to the community, including their support for the visually impaired, hospital equipment loan closet, and contributions to local food pantries. Mayor Tamburro presented a proclamation recognizing the Verona Lions Club’s service to the township, applauding their commitment to addressing food insecurity in the community.

Councilwoman Cynthia Holland raised concerns about the need for grant funding for pickleball court renovations and the importance of shared services with the Board of Education. She expressed an interest in revisiting the tree ordinance and analyzing the cost implications of conducting tree reviews. Deputy Mayor Jack McEvoy echoed these sentiments, raising questions about Everett Field’s project and its associated grant funding while underscoring the need to address drainage concerns before proceeding.

The council also discussed the progress of the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program, which recently received $200,000 for a playground and is currently applying for additional funding. Various other topics were covered, including upcoming ordinance fee modifications, the manager’s report on code recommendations, Animal Control Agreements, the fire convention agreement, and field usage reports.

Later, Councilwoman Christine McGrath highlighted the need to evaluate the cost of services and the potential implementation of fees. Councilman Alex Roman provided updates on a sewer rate study, the wastewater treatment plant assessment, and the transition of the office to a new location.

The meeting also touched on the issue of stormwater control. The council discussed the township’s limited capacity to change elements of the stormwater control and considered seeking assistance from Blue within Verona and the Office of Climate. Additionally, the council discussed exploring energy efficiency programs, municipal solar, and alternative energy sources.

One of the main items of the meeting was the discussion on waste collection services. The council reviewed bids for solid waste collection, expressing relief that the contracts were better than anticipated. They also discussed the process of paving bids and the need for street sweeping services.

Composting was another topic of interest. The council expressed interest in a potential pilot composting program, mentioning the possibility of involving Sustainable Verona and the Environmental Commission in this initiative.

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Mayor: Christopher Tamburro City Council Officials: Deputy Mayor Jack McEvoy, Councilman Alex Roman, Councilwoman Christine McGrath, Councilwoman Cynthia Holland

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