Editor's Notebook: July 25 Borough Council Meeting
● By Rebecca K. Abma
Midland Park Borough Hall
Two Recreation Board members were replaced, the council passed a water restrictions ordinance and the Dairy Street playground was discussed at the July 25 meeting of the mayor and council. The video from the meeting is available at this link on the Midland Park Press's LIVESTREAM Channel.
Two Rec Trustees Resign Mid-Term
Recreation Board Trustees Steve Dembrowski and Eric Goodell both resigned from the board and will be replaced by John Reilly and Thomas Degenaars. The board also appointed Ron Scambati as an alternate. According to Mayor Patrick "Bud" O'Hagan, Dembrowski and Goodell cited a recent personnel issue as the reason they stepped down.
Rec Board terms are for three years. Reilly was appointed to fill the remainder of Dembrowski's term, which expires at the end of this year. Degenaars will fill the remainder of Goodell's term, which runs through 2015. Scambati will fill a new seat, as an alternate, which the mayor said would have the same input and voting rights as other members.
Dairy Street Playground Improvements
The council introduced Ordinance 09-13, to authorize spending $150,000 for playground equipment at the Dairy Street playground. Half of the money comes from a Bergen County Open Space, Recreation, Farmland and Historic Preservation Trust Fund and the other half is from the borough's Open Space Fund, which will have a remaining balance of $307,421 after this project. Detailed plans for the playground have yet to be determined.
Additionally, the council passed a resolution to apply for another Open Space grant for a pavilion to be built at the Dairy Street playground. The pavilion would be similar to the one erected at Wortendyke Park and located between the storage shed near the bleachers at Vander Meer Field and the playground area. Borough Administrator Adeline Hanna stated that the DPW measured the area and no trees would need to be removed.
If approved for a grant, the pavilion would be used to provide shade and shelter from rain for people at sporting events, the playground and summer camp. Additionally, residents or groups could reserve the pavilion for events through the Rec. Department. The borough's grant writers, Capital Alternatives Corporation, will prepare the paperwork.
Water Ordinance Passed
The council passed Ordinance 08-13 on final reading. The ordinance sets new water restrictions guidelines in accordance with Ridgewood Water's new policies. The change amends Chapter XIII of the borough code entitled "Water and Sewer" for drought precautions and emergencies. Instead of three levels of drought emergencies — minor, moderate and severe-critical — the revised ordinance has four stages and alters the days watering is allowed from calendar days to week days.
Instead of house numbers correlating to the day of the month (odd numbered homes on odd numbered days), Ridgewood Water set new restrictions on irrigation for Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays for odd numbered homes and Wednesday, Friday and Sunday for even numbered homes during the moderate stage, which automatically goes into effect from June 1 to Sept. 15 each year. During the stage, the use of handheld hoses may be used on any day.
Further restrictions are as follows:
Stage II: Severe: Odd numbered homes on Tuesday and Saturday only. Even numbered homes on Wednesdays and Sundays only. No irrigation on Mondays, Thursdays or Fridays except for the use of a handheld hose, .
Stage III: Pending/Critical: Irrigation restricted to the use of a handheld hose and can only be used on Tuesdays and Saturdays for odd numbered homes, or Wednesday and Sundays for even numbered homes. No irrigation of any kind allowed on Mondays, Thursdays or Fridays.
Stage IV: Critical: Irrigation is prohibited at any time. The only exceptions allowed are those prescribed by the Ridgewood Village Manager.
The ordinance also sets a penalty for violation of up to $100 or up to 15 days imprisonment. Earlier drafts of the ordinance, which were prepared by Ridgewood Water Company, allowed for Ridgewood officials to turn off water service to homes in violation of the rules. Borough officials were concerned that the penalty violated due process and worked with the water company to revise the ordinance.
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