Clark Council Talks Road Projects, Passes Clothing Bin and Grease Trap Maintenance Ordinances
Plus notes on a Purple Heart monument, Waterson Dunham ride and more from council's July meeting.
At their July meeting, Clark Council members unanimously passed two ordinances.
The first ordinance provides stipulations for clothing bins around town in an effort to make them more aesthetically pleasing. Bins will have to be neutral colored and will only be allowed in certain areas under the ordinance. (Read a PDF of the ordinance in our gallery.)
The council also adopted an ordinance meant to enforce grease traps clean-up in restaurants to prevent build-up in plumbing. The new ordinance will strictly enforce the upkeep of the grease traps, as well as provide educational meetings for restaurant owners on proper usage and disposal to prevent damage.
Grease traps are connected to the plumbing of commercial kitchens and prevent grease and food particles from entering the sewer system. Though the traps collect the grease, the grease must also be properly disposed of. If grease enters the sewers, it can congeal and clog them, causing a backup. (Read a PDF of the ordinance in our gallery.)
Capital Road Program Bond Ordinance Introduced: This ordinance covers the bonding for the town's annual road program. The roads to be paved will include Liberty Street from Broadway to Valley Road, Canterbury Drive, Jupiter Street and the completion of Featherbed Lane. Clark will appropriate the sum of $1.5 million – $210,000 of the sum will come from the state grants; $1.29 million will be bonded. Business Administrator John Laezza said that if additional funds are remaining after the bids for the project come in, the town will use the additional monies to complete additional streets. The public hearing on this ordinance will be at council's next meeting on August 20. The work will be done in 2013.
Waterson Dunham Valor Ride: The fourth annual motorcycle ride is set for July 29 and leaves from Clark's Deutscher Club. It includes a police-escorted ride, a continental breakfast, music, refreshments and more. Proceeds go to the Corporal Jason L. Dunham Scholarship Foundation, a scholarship fund that has been established to honor Dunham's service and sacrifice, and to provide funding for those Marines and Corpsmen who wish to pursue a college education at a nationally recognized and accredited institution. The ride is named after Dunham and William J. Waterson, who remains the only Clark police officer to be killed in the line of duty when he was shot on July 4, 1971. For more information, contact Danny Joy at 732-359-3513 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Read our story on last year's ride, which hosted more than 300 riders, here.
Bistro 1051 Will Offer Wine Sales: The restaurant has received state approval for a wine sales room. Wine from a single winery will be offered for consumption on the premises or for take out. Patrons will still be able to BYOB.
Resident Wants Turning Lanes at Intersection of Featherbed Lane and Westfield Avenue: Resident Marge Berson said that although she was very impressed with the paving of Featherbed Lane, she was disappointed to see that the striping of the road was the same as it was previously. Berson said she made a suggestion to the township engineer's firm that the road by striped to include turning lanes at the intersection of Featherbed Lane and Westfield Avenue so that those continuing on Featherbed Lane in either direction would not be held up by those attempting to turn. Business Administrator John Laezza told Berson that the the traffic department of the police department and not the engineer's firm determines road striping. He said he would take her suggestion to them. Laezza later asked that residents who have concerns first contact him. Laezza said while residents are always welcome to speak their concerns at council meetings, they would be better served if they come in and talk with him.
Municipal Building Gym Rental: Council passed a resolution authorizing the Mayor to enter into a lease agreement with the Union County Educational Services Commission for use of the gymnasiums in the Municipal Building. Laezza said the group pays $1,500 for use of the gyms, up from $800 previously, and has been using the gyms for many years.
New Insurance Administrator: Council added a resolution to the consent agenda to hire Inservco Insurance as the third-party administrator for town's insurance program. Clark had previously used Scibal Associates. Laezza said administrators felt Scibal was "getting too comfortable with us," had cut back on services and that there were some claims for police officers that were not paid. Laezza also said Inservco charges $6,000 less than Scibal.
Clark's Purple Heart Monument to Be Unveiled: The covered monument in front of the municipal building is a Purple Heart Monument. It will be dedicated in a ceremony on Saturday, July 28 at 11 a.m. In November, Garwood received a similar monument - read our story, here.
Passaic River Pollution Litigation Update: Laezza said Mayor Bonaccorso had meeting in Trenton with the Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Protection on July 11 to discuss Clark's part in the ongoing Passaic River Litigation. Read about the lawsuit here. "Unfortunately the commissioner just gave the party line as to the problem of the litigation that we and 85 others involved in," said Laezza. "The property tax payers of 85 communities are providing money for the sins of the DEP. The mayor voiced his objections. The DEP is not only looking for remediation, but also is looking for penalities. The bottom line is the state is looking to earn about six billion dollars. Our mayor has fought that if we’re in this and paying the bill we want a share of the six billion. This fight will be continued by mayor and number of communities in this litigation."
Clark Passes Local Finance Board Audit: According to Clark's Business Adminstrator, John Laezza, the town has passed the Local Finance Board Audit with flying colors. "Every few years they come in and check our records," said Laezza. "They check all our contracts to make sure we bid them properly."
Air Quality Resolution: Council adopted the Public Employees Occupational Safety and Health Program, Indoor Air Quality Standard for township buildings. Laezza said concerns about mold and dampness and things of that nature, specifically at Police Headquarters, prompted the resolution.
Councilwoman Sheila Whiting noted that participation in Clark Recreation and the Clark Pool is booming this summer. Whiting said the recreation program hosts about 600 children daily.
Councilman Al Barr spoke about how a cooking fire in Clark almost turned into disaster because the elderly woman who lived in the home was hard of hearing, asleep, and did not hear her smoke detector go off. He asked that all residents and those with elderly parents especially, check to make sure their alarm systems are connected to a central service that notifies the police or fire departments when the systems are activated. Because the elderly woman's detector was connected to a central service, firefighters were notified and put out the fire.
Councilman Brian Toal thanked the Clark Police Department, Union County Police and the mayor's office for their response in the wake of the homicide of Vera Pecoraro. Toal said his phone was ringing off the hook that evening. He said he knew Pecoraro and described her as a very firm and businesslike woman. "One of our own was taken from us and justice will be served," said Toal.
Business Administrator John Laezza read a report from the mayor, who was on vacation and absent from the meeting. Mayor Bonaccorso thanked the Clark Police, Fire and Recreation departments for the job they did on Clark's fireworks display. Laezza said more than 10,000 people were in attendance.
Councilman Toal also spoke about how it has taken five years to get Canterbury Drive and Jupiter Street repaved and that residents on Canterbury have grass in the street that they actually have to mow. He said it takes time to get these projects through though he has been requesting them for years. Laezza told Toal he could "beg and plead all he wanted" but that the town tries to do the streets that are most in need because there is not enough money to do them all at once.