Full Agenda at Council Meeting
Hirings, promotions, expenditures all approved by board.
Bloomfield Township officials approved the hiring of six more firefighters and two more police officers at a council meeting Monday night.
In addition, council members approved the promotion of one new deputy fire chief and five fire captains to replace retirees at the meeting.
The personnel changes would bring the fire department to a total of 78 members and police to a total of 122 members, township Business Administrator Yoshi Manale said.
In other news, township officials:
♦ Approved putting out a request for proposals to find a company to set up red light traffic cameras in the township. The council also approved a proposal to hire an outside company to try and to collect delinquent court fines and to try to and rent two township properties along the Garden State Parkway to outside companies for billboards.
Manale said the lighted billboards would not cause light pollution to neighboring residents and the project could generate $200,000 to $400,000 in revenue for the township.
♦ Approved putting out a request for proposal to find companies interested in leasing the rooftops of municipal buildings and structures for solar energy projects.
♦ Approved a civil service residency requirement which would give preference to township residents first for job openings, followed by Essex County residents.
♦ Approved a proposal to require all tax appeal settlement be approved by the township council.
Mayor Raymond McCarthy said the change was needed to see what the impact would be on municipal assessments.
♦ Approved awarding a $14,078 contract with Gramco Business Communications in Clifton to update the township hall public announcement system and audio recording system used in municipal meetings.
Township Clerk Louise Palagano said the money will come from capital funds previously allocated for the project, which she said "was a long time in coming." The system will be installed next month and ready in September.
Township Engineer Paul Lasek said the new LED lights are being installed as part of the North Center streetscape proposal and the township entered into an agreement with Arterial LLC of Montclair to do a traffic and pedestrian study. Lasek said the site has narrow sidewalks that could possibly be enhanced. The study is costing $17,000, which is coming from community development block grants, Lasek said, and the project itself could be funded by grants as well.
♦ Approved a new agreement with Emergency Communications Network for "Code Red" emergency calls. Tim Kane, the township's director of information systems, said the township went $17,000 over budget to make emergency phone calls to township residents about the winter snowstorms.
Kane said he renegotiated the contract so the township only ended up spending $3,000. He noted the township entered into a new joint contract with the school district to get 31,250 emergency call minutes for $27,000 a year.
♦ Agreed to hold off on a proposal to issue a rent freeze in the township, pending legal advice from Township Attorney Brian Aloia. Councilman Robert Ruane and Kevin Lindahl, two Troy Towers residents, proposed setting up the rent freeze until the township set up its Rent Control Advisory Board and reviews whether the township needs rent control. Ruane and Lindahl said they have received complaints from some senior citizens about high rent hikes in the apartment complex and that a freeze should be instituted throughout the township.
McCarthy said the rent hikes are a legitimate concern, but he said it could be considered arbitrary since the other side - landlords - were not present. Councilman Michael Venezia and McCarthy asked for the deferral because they said they were uncertain if the township was legally allowed to institute a rent freeze.