Verona Township Council Focuses on Infrastructure and Community Projects in Latest Meeting

The Verona Township Council recently convened to address a variety of issues affecting the local community. Among the topics discussed were the commendation of Eagle Scouts for their impactful community projects, updates on storm water management and infrastructure improvements, plans for solar energy projects, local government energy audits, and a range of proposed ordinances aimed at enhancing community services and safety. The meeting also touched upon the importance of resident involvement in safety and infrastructure discussions, and the potential for moving municipal elections to November as a cost-saving strategy.

At the forefront of the council’s agenda was the recognition of four Eagle Scouts for their contributions to the community. Noah Boon, Andrew KY, Liam Fry, and Aiden Hlin were lauded for their projects, which included constructing butterfly boxes, building arbor benches and wheelchair-accessible flower planters, creating garden boxes for a butterfly garden, and constructing a bridge and boardwalks. Mayor Dr. Christopher Tamburro presented each Scout with a proclamation.

The meeting then shifted focus to the town’s infrastructure, specifically storm water management. The council is preparing to introduce an updated storm water control ordinance and is also updating the municipal storm water management plan. The town engineer and environmental commission chair reported on discussions with the state office regarding potential storm water impact mitigation and the Department of Public Works’ (DPW) response to the application for the Pekman River stabilization project.

Infrastructure discussions continued with updates on various road projects, including the repaving of Lyndon Avenue and the authorization for the Boston Whitney Windir and Douglas Place projects. The Derwent Avenue project was noted for its delays due to sewer repairs required before paving can commence. The council also discussed the importance of updating parking meter rates to be consistent with neighboring communities and the strategy for repairing out-of-service parking meters.

Energy sustainability was another key issue addressed, with plans for a local government energy audit and investigations into potential solar projects on Township-owned property. The council is working with consultants to assess the feasibility of these projects, exploring potential tax credits and cost payback. Furthermore, grant applications related to community energy planning and combined heat and power feasibility studies are being pursued.

Councilwoman Christine McGrath emphasized seeking financial assistance for the Emergency Services building, while Councilwoman Cynthia Holland stressed the importance of clearing storm drains and prioritizing safety during unseasonably warm weather. McGrath also mentioned recent flooding concerns and the potential impacts of climate change on the town.

Public safety was a recurring theme, with residents expressing concerns during the public comment period. Topics included the fear and uncertainty among neighbors, safety in the neighborhood, and the need for infrastructure improvements. A resident inquired about the possibility of a private entity funding a traffic light at a specific intersection, emphasizing the need for transparency and community involvement in decision-making.

The council commended the police department’s detective bureau and patrol officers for their diligent work in investigating and catching offenders. The topic of a private project for a traffic light was brought up, with the council monitoring progress with the state of New Jersey.

Proposed ordinances were introduced, including an ordinance for a supplemental appropriation of $510,000 for an accessible sensory playground and adult exercise area at the community center, an ordinance for the acquisition and installation of communications equipment for police vehicles, and an amendment regarding inspection requirements for rental dwellings.

The consent agenda was approved, with items such as the resolution for the Greenacre supplemental funding request, appointments of the public defender and municipal prosecutor, and a liquor license transfer. A specific request for oversight on assets acquired through the 1033 program was made. Discussions also included the possibility of moving municipal elections to November as a cost-saving measure, weighing the increased cost of elections against the potential benefits.

Did we get something wrong? Let us know.
Dr. Christopher Tamburro
City Council Officials:
Jack McEvoy, Alex Roman, Christine McGrath, Cynthia Holland

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