From the desk of Thomas S. Russo, Jr.

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Jun 05

June 5, 2020

Posted on June 5, 2020 at 2:03 PM by Kat Walker

Our next regular Town Council meeting will be held via ZOOM on Monday, June 8, 2020.  You have each been emailed the webinar ID and password.  The same has been posted on our website.


Lorraine’s office has prepared the minutes from the May 27th Regular meeting for consideration and approval.


This is for those that wish to address the Town Council but do not plan on staying for the whole meeting.  There is a note to the public on the agenda to please keep their comments to a maximum of 3 minutes and limited to one turn at the microphone.  This allows ample time for all whom wish to speak and keeps the meeting moving forward.  The public can speak on any matter. Council may choose to comment after the entire public portion has concluded.


Each Councilmember can give an update on various items or Board/Commission actions that have taken place recently.



There are three ordinances being introduced:

Ordinance 2020-8 will authorize the issuance of $70,000 in Bond Anticipation Notes for the Halsted Street and Madison Street Improvements – Section II.  We received a grant for $175,000 towards this project.

Ordinance 2020-9 will authorize the issuance of $100,000 in Bond Anticipation Notes for the Mill Street Sidewalk project.  We received a grant for $400,000 towards this project.

Ordinance 2020-10 will authorize appropriating $555,000 for the Memory Park Drainage project.


Resolution #125-2020* will amend the contract to increase the not to exceed amount for our Labor Counsel.   

Resolution #132-2020* will authorize engineering services for the Digester Conversion/Rehabilitation and Primary Sludge Pump project for $93,000.  As you may recall, Ordinance 2020-7 authorized funding for this project.

Resolution #133-2020* will authorize an increase to the Town’s bid threshold to $44,000 effective July 1, 2020.  

Resolution #134-2020* will authorize the execution of a contract renewal with Hopatcong for Animal Control and Pound Services.

Resolution #135-2020* will authorize a change order for our Cleaning Services bid with Chelbus Cleaning to increase the cleaning from 3 days a week to 5 days week.

Resolution #136-2020* will waive parking permit fees for June and reinstate the same July 1, 2020.

Resolution #137-2020* will approve the bi-annual revisions to our Personnel Policies and Procedures Manual and Employee Handbook.

Resolution #138-2020* will authorize entering into an agreement with CGP&H LLC for administrative services related to affordable housing.

Resolution #139-2020* will refer the Proposed Redevelopment Plan for the G&H Property to the Planning Board for review and comment.

Resolution #140-2020* will authorize credits due utility accounts.

Resolution #141-2020* will authorize payment of bills and vouchers.

Resolution #142-2020* will authorize Change Order No. 1 for the pool renovation project.  The total change order is $7,000.00; Suburban Consulting will pay $2,000.00 of the same.


OPEN TO THE PUBLIC (3 mins each)




Morris Lake is even with the top of the spillway as of June 5, 2020.  

Daily OEM briefings continue with Council receiving Sit Reports 3x a week.

I spoke (via Zoom) with students at Seton Hall University during their annual Civic Engagement Boot Camp about running a local government organization during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Thanks to Councilwoman Le Frois for joining in the conversation!

Routine business discussed during our monthly Parking Authority meeting.  We welcomed Robert Boyle to the Authority as a voting member.

I spoke with Dr. Greene via Zoom for our quarterly lunch meeting.  Both the school district and Town have been very busy with COVID-19 issues and preparedness.

I hope you all have a safe weekend.  I pray for this weekend’s protests in Newton to be peaceful and productive in furthering civil dialogue and discourse amongst all interested parties.  My thanks to Chief Osborn and the members of the Police Department, as well as all members of our emergency services, for their tireless efforts day in and day out.

Yours in Service,