Hopatcong Borough Council Meeting (11/06/2019) – Detailed Coverage

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The following article provides a high-level overview and detailed video coverage from the Hopatcong Borough Council meeting held on November 6, 2019.

Medical Marijuana Dispensary

The Mayor and Hopatcong Borough Council are seeking to educate themselves on Medical Marijuana and what it may mean to have a possible Dispensary in the Borough.

  • 11072019 1Annmarie Shafer, Director of Recovery Support Services, and Nicholas Loizzi, Sussex County Substance Abuse Services Coordinator, provided the Mayor and Council their expertise on what a possible Medical Marijuana Dispensary would mean to Hopatcong.
  • The Mayor made it clear that the Council is seeking information on this subject in order to make an informed decision.

Council Updates

The members of the Hopatcong Borough Council provide updates on their assigned areas during the meeting on 11/06/2019.

  • 11072019 2The topics that were covered are the Wellness Center, Vaping, Sole to Sole Drive, Coat Drive, Giving Tree, Recreation Department, Real Estate Committee, Water Billing Date Changes, DPW, Environmental Commission, Upcoming Movies, Chamber of Commerce and Sewer and Water Committee.

Important Takeaways:

  • The rumor that the Wellness Center is diagnosing illnesses is untrue, they are not a medical facility, but rather they refer out anyone that is ill.
  • The new Sewer Rates public hearing will be held on November 26th.

Public Questions

Public Questions addressed to the Hopatcong Borough Council during the meeting on 11/06/2019.

11072019 3Q: Question on Ordinance 4 as to its meaning?

A: Sewer Rate

Q: Where is the Animal Control report available?

A: Borough will provide upon request

Q: Is the current Animal Control officer able to handle the job

A: Yes

Q: What are the requirements for Animals to be accepted?

A: If the Animal is lost, stray or sick, the Animal Control officer will make the determination in the best interest of the public

Q: Good Work on the repaving, but they missed a corner on Flora and Stanhope Rd.

A: This was a county job, the Borough, and we’ll give them a call and let them know.

Q: The Borough is getting ready to impose an Airbnb personal liability insurance requirement that this not obtainable on a standard Homeowners Policy.

A: Council asked the speaker for assistance in rewriting that segment on the personal liability insurance standard on the resolution as they show expertise in that matter. The Council will table this topic for today, as the Council is not against Airbnb, they just want to be fair.

Q: Still need maximum setback from the sewers.

A: Borough Attorney attempted to answer the question, which was eventually answered by the audience that the standard is 300’ feet.

Q: Is the fully 100+ page Sewer report available now?

A: The 26-page report is on the web site, the 100+ page is for the community; what is posted is the official report for the public.

Ordinances and Resolutions

11072019 4Review and voting by the Hopatcong Borough Council on Ordinances and Resolutions during the meeting on 11/06/2019.

Approval of Minutes and all Ordinances and Resolutions passed during the meeting

CFO Report

11072019 5Hopatcong Borough CFO reports on Debt reduction and the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (NJDCA) Best Practices Survey.

  • The purpose of the survey is to evaluate municipal performance in key operational and financial areas to identify areas of need so that NJDCA can offer support, training, and grant opportunities.
  • The Hopatcong Borough just completed this self-analysis 99 question survey, scoring a 41.5 (30 is passing)
  • Recommend that residents review the report to see where the Borough will be focusing their efforts
  • In 2010 Hopatcong had $54 million, which has decreased to $38 million, which is a 29% reduction in our gross debt. Thanks to the council for budgeting for the reduction.
  • By 2022 we will further reduce $28.4 million (52%). We have been able to not increase taxes and still make aggressive reductions in debt.

Mayor’s Comments & Lake Update

11072019 6Hopatcong Borough Mayor Michael Francis provides his comments for the meeting, which focused on updates on what is being done about Lake Hopatcong.

  • Meet with the Lake Hopatcong Foundation on 11/06/2019
  • Working on plans over the winter to attack the Lake Hopatcong issues early next year
  • Businesses reported 40% of more business loss during the summer this year due to the Algae Blooms
  • More than 50% of the phosphate going into the lake comes from the Septic systems. Therefore we will be looking for State Funding assistance to extend sewers along Hudson Ave.
  • The health of our lake is demanding that we make infrastructure changes, which we will try to do without additional burden to the taxpayers
  • We can not afford to have another year like this year.
11072019 0View the entire Hopatcong Borough Council meeting

 


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