In an eventful Wood-Ridge Borough Council meeting led by Mayor Sarlo, critical strides were taken towards sustainable development and citywide renewal. The adoption of Ordinances 2023-5 and 2023-6, which centered on creating public electric vehicle charging stations and amending the 2019 Wesmont Station Redevelopment Plan respectively, marked significant decisions for the council.
Early in the meeting, Mayor Sarlo recognized former Councilman Joe DiMarco and honored the Wood-Ridge Competition Cheerleaders Mini and Junior TEAM for their numerous victories, including a national win in Maryland. The celebratory atmosphere was punctuated with the presentation of certificates and jackets to the proud team members and their coaches.
The conversation shifted towards an eco-conscious path as the council deliberated over Ordinance 2023-5. This new legislation seeks to establish public parking subchapters concerning electric vehicle charging stations. Councilperson Romero, seconded by Donato, moved to adopt the ordinance following a public hearing. Administrator Eilert clarified that the fees implemented through the ordinance would be solely for covering electricity costs, rather than contributing to the borough’s coffers. The ordinance passed with Romero abstaining.
Next on the agenda was the consideration of Ordinance 2023-6, proposing amendments to the 2019 Wesmont Station Redevelopment Plan. As Councilperson Mabel and Donato proposed its adoption, Eilert explained that the adjustments would address recreational, community, and educational impacts resulting from the redevelopment. Further, it would enable the council to embark on a town-wide facility project as a redevelopment agency. Despite Romero’s abstention, the ordinance cleared its first reading.
Councilperson Altamura reported on various Wood-Ridge Police Department activities, including the department’s biannual active shooter training, spring firearms training, and a cybersecurity assembly conducted at Wood-Ridge Junior Senior High School. Notably, the department participated in the DEA-sponsored Operation Take Back on April 22, allowing residents to safely dispose of unused prescription medications.
In a wave of community solidarity, over 300 people attended the Church of the Assumption of Our Blessed Lady’s seventh annual Blue Mass, honoring the sacrifices of the law enforcement community. The mass was also available online, offering those unable to attend in person the opportunity to participate.
The meeting progressed to discussions on financial matters, with the passage of Resolution No. 059-2023 authorizing payment of bills and Resolution No. 060-2023 introducing the 2023 Budget. The budget, which is slated for a hearing on June 21, 2023, outlines a detailed financial plan for Wood-Ridge, including allocations for operating expenses, capital improvements, and debt service.
Moreover, the council passed Resolution No. 061-2023 and Resolution No. 062-2023, signifying Wood-Ridge’s inclusion in the Bergen County Community Development Program for the fiscal years 2024 to 2026. This federal resource-backed program seeks to contribute to housing, investment partnerships, and emergency solutions.