Editor's Notebook: Sept. 26 Borough Council Meeting
By Rebecca K. Abma
Midland Park Borough Hall
Speeding on Highwood Avenue, a church delinquent on taxes, and an ordinance to approve funding a handicapped accessible bathroom at Borough Hall were the main topics at the Sept. 26 Borough Council Meeting.
Mayor Patrick “Bud” O’Hagan honored DPW worker David Brian Garling for going beyond the call of duty in helping a resident find a lost college ring. The ring had slipped off a resident’s hand while at the DPW center and Garling, who had lost his own school ring, searched after hours until it was found. He was honored with a proclamation by the mayor.
Residents of Highwood Avenue spoke before the council to express concerns over cars speeding on the residential road, a problem that has become common in several areas of town. Residents offered suggestions, such a speed bumps or making the road a dead end to curb the traffic problems.
Council President noted that this was brought up during the Citizen’s Safety Advisory Committee earlier in the month and the police are aware of it and actively working on solutions.
A member of Han Maum Reformed Church on Irving Street addressed the council to request an extension on their tax bill. The church failed to file tax exempt paperwork in 2009 and was charged $50,000 in back taxes. The church had made two payments, on for $14,000 and another for $18,000, leaving another $18,000 due by Sept. 30. The church is only able to pay $5,000 at this time, the church member explained, and requested an extension on the remaining $13,000.
Borough Attorney Robert Regan noted the borough has already issued two extensions and waived $17,000 in penalties. If the church cannot find the money to pay by the deadline, the building will go up for tax sale at a date to be determined by the Tax Assessor.
Borough administrator Addie Hanna reported the engineer is working on the layout for the new playground equipment at the Dairy Street playground. Once approved by the County Open Space committee, the borough can move forward with ordering the equipment. The playground upgrades are being funded by an Open Space grant.
The borough is looking at applying for a ADA Community Development Grant to purchase back up generators. Typically, generators are not covered under such grants, but do to the widespread power outages following Hurricane Sandy last year, grants have become available for such items.
The council approved Ordinance 10-13 on final reading, which authorizes the expenditure of $59,000 to make handicapped accessible improvements to the front bathroom in Borough Hall. Of that $44,000 is from a 2013 Community Development grant with the remaining $15,000 from the capital improvement fund.