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February 5, 2009

 

The Township Council of the Township of Roxbury held a Neighborhood Meeting on February 5, 2009.

 

OPEN PUBLIC MEETING STATEMENT

Notice is hereby given that a Neighborhood Meeting of the Township Council of the Township of Roxbury will be held on Thursday, February 5, 2009 at 7:00 PM at Roxbury Recreation Building’s Senior Center, Succasunna, New Jersey. This meeting is being held for the purpose of general discussion with Township residents.

 

Adequate notice of this meeting of the Township Council of the Township of Roxbury was given as required by the Open Public Meetings Act as follows:  Notice was faxed to the Daily Record, the Newark Star Ledger and the Roxbury Register on December 17, 2008; notice was posted on the bulletin board in the main hallway of the Municipal Building on December 17, 2008.

 

Roll Call:  Mayor Kathy DeFillippo, Councilmen Gary Behrens, Fred Hall and Martin Schmidt

 

Absent:  Councilmen Timothy Smith and Richard Zoschak

 

Also Present:  Christopher Raths, Township Manager and Amy Rhead, Administrative Aide, Clerk's Office

 

Deputy Mayor Jim Rilee arrived at 8:15 PM.

 

Opening Remarks:  Mayor DeFillippo introduced the Council and staff members in attendance

 

2009 Budget Message

Christopher Raths, Township Manager discussed the proposed budget and the financial challenges that the Township is facing.  Mr. Raths reviewed some of the cost reduction possibilities that are being explored by the Township.

 

Residents expressed concern about a reduction in service if there are staff reductions.

 

2008 “To Do” List

Mr. Raths updated the residents on the status of the 2008 “To Do” List.

 

2009 Paving Projections

Mr. Raths reviewed the list of paving projects scheduled for 2009.  Mr. Raths stated that the condition and amount of use is the criteria used when determining the priority of the paving projects.

 

A resident asked if the plummeting asphalt prices would mean that we will get a better price.  Mr. Raths explained that we use the County Co-op, but we want to go out to bid before the Stimulus Package causes the prices to increase again. 

 

Nutrition Site-72 Eyland Avenue

Mr. Raths stated that the Nutrition Center was relocated from Berkshire Valley to 72 Eyland Avenue.  Yesterday was the first day at the new site and residents expressed their approval of the new location.  It was suggested that Social Services advertise the Nutrition Center.  A resident stated that there is no phone number available to call and sign up for future meals.  Mr. Raths stated that he will find out what the phone number is and relay it to residents.

 

There was concern about the noise from the aerobics class being held in the room at the same time as the Nutrition Center was serving a meal.  Mr. Raths stated that they are working on a resolution to that issue.

 

 

Roxbury Arts Alliance

Mayor DeFillippo reviewed the events sponsored by the Roxbury Arts Alliance, including the upcoming “Beatle-Mania” event.

Mayor DeFillippo spoke about the LifeFone program, future Town Hall Meeting dates, the new Recreation publication, and various fundraisers that are being conducted within the Township.

 

Questions – Public Portion

Several residents expressed their outrage over the amount of the increase awarded in the recent teacher’s settlement with the Roxbury Board of Education.  Council members explained that the municipality does not have control over the school budget.  They further reviewed the Council’s extent of involvement and the recommendation process in the event of a defeated school budget.  Residents were informed that the Roxbury Board of Education would be the appropriate forum for discussing issues that involve teacher contracts and school budget issues.

 

Mr. Hall discussed the various shared service initiatives that are being explored between the Township and the Board of Education.  A resident asked about the status of the previous garbage/sanitation shared service idea.  Mr. Raths stated that it would require a capital outlay for the Township to purchase a trash collecting truck that would accommodate the school district.  In the meantime, the school district sought another contract.

 

Mr. Raths explained how the State’s proposed pension payment deferral idea would be detrimental to municipalities.  A resident asked about the amount of Roxbury’s pension.  Mr. Raths stated that it is approximately 1.7 million dollars.

 

Roxbury’s recycling & energy efficiency efforts were discussed.  A resident stated that the Recycling Center will not take batteries, even though the Township website states that they do.  Mr. Raths stated that we accept them at Town Hall and he will have the information on the website corrected.

 

A resident stated that the intersection on Emmans Road was not complete.  Mr. Raths stated that he will look into this.

 

A resident asked about COAH.  Mr. Hall stated that Roxbury continues to comply with the rules even though the State keeps changing them. 

 

A resident complained about unleashed dogs at the park and walking path, especially on weekends.  Mr. Raths stated that he would notify patrols to make sure that dog walkers are obeying the rules.

 

Residents complimented the Roxbury park property.  Mayor DeFillippo acknowledged the contributions of local Eagle Scouts in the upkeep.

 

Mr. Raths responded to a question about the plaques on Memory Lane and stated that they are in the process of being replaced.

 

A resident stated that residents should be able to display signs for Garage Sales and distributed a list of “garage sale etiquette”.

 

Chris Raths stated that he would let resident, Mr. Kluska, know when the Library meeting would be rescheduled.

 

Residents asked about Open Space money and the lack of available space.  Deputy Mayor Rilee discussed the possibility of being able to use the money for capital projects for “improving and increasing recreation opportunities”.  Mr. Raths stated that we still have debt from earlier purchases.  Residents were informed that the Township’s insurance company has advised that the Imagination Station playground may need to be replaced.

 

A resident asked about the status of the McNear property acquisition.  Mr. Raths stated that all the parties involved have not yet signed off on it.

 

Mr. Hall stated that the Township should be closing on two out of three parcels of the Swim and Sport Club property soon.

 

 

 

 

 

ADJOURNMENT

At 9:00 PM Mr. Behrens made a motion to close the Neighborhood Meeting.  Mr. Hall seconded the motion

 

All In Favor – Yes

 

Submitted By:

 

 

________________________

BettyLou DeCroce

Township Clerk

 

MINUTES APPROVED BY COUNCIL

DATE:                        February 24, 2009

ROLL CALL:            Mr. Schmidt – yes        Mr. Hall – yes

                                    Mr. Behrens – yes        Mayor DeFillippo - yes