Hopatcong Borough Council Meeting - September 16, 2020

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The Borough of Hopatcong held its Council Meeting on September 16, 2020, through Zoom technology. The following provides key highlights from the meeting and the ability to watch a recording of the entire meeting.

Proclamation: for Chris Beckert for his Eagle Scout Achievement for 114 hours in the development of waiting and seating area outside of the library. October 17, 2020, will be known as Chris Beckert day. You make our town very proud.

The following should be considered the more important community developments for residents:

  • The Borough Playgrounds have been opened, please follow proper guidelines
  • October 15, 2020, there will be a ribbon-cutting at the New Solar Field
  • The aeration systems in Crescent Cove are working as expected and is expected to be a 2 – 3-year process to fully clean the area if only the aeration process is used
  • The second phase for Crescent Cove that is now being pushed to help expedite the process by using good algae to combat the bad algae is being discussed with the DEP. This same project has been used to save Lake Erie and has been used in New Jersey Lakes for the last 15 years.

Council Meeting Highlights: Watch the Video

Committee Reports:

  • BCM 09 17 2020 Movie                           Watch VideoSeveral councilmembers commented on the 9/11 ceremony and thanked Cathy Million for the organization
  • Halloween event is scheduled for October 11, 2020
  • The Christmas Tree lighting has been moved to Modick Park for December 12th
  • Town Shred day is this Saturday from 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM at the Senior Center
  • Local Businesses should go to sussexcountychamber.org to get on the map.
  • Paving is ongoing on multiple roads at the same time, please be patient

Administrators Report:

  • Paving is occurring on multiple roads at the same time, please make sure your car is off the road of any affected street
  • Delay in River Styx Redevelopment the contactors received the wrong poles from the manufacturer. The cost of removal, reshipment, and installation falls on the manufacturer and not the Borough. (Project delay is between 3 – 5 weeks)

Public Comment:

BCM 09 17 2020 Movie PublicAttached is a video recordig of this section to ensure we captured everyone's comment and the answer correctly.

  • Resident asked again about water and flooding that has been occurring and needs an answer from the Administrator.
    • A: Engineer and DEP have looked at the property and the Engineering is coming up with a plan for how the water can be diverted

  • Resident asked about heavy traffic that is going to fast going down River Styx that causes the building to shake.
    • A: Asked to send an email to the Borough to document the issue

  • Resident has a question on check 202018 for $67,000. Also looking for nonalarm notifications to be sent out to residents.
    • A: The check is part of a contract with the Sheriff’s Office

  • Resident sees positive results on Crescent Cove, and questions when the sewers will start to be installed and will water pipes be done at the same time.
    • A: The Bids will be opened on 09/24/2020 and after approval by the DEP, work will start. Water will not be run at the same time due to cost

  • Resident questioned how the Borough could sell a property that is not owned by the Borough, if they do so should the Council person resign?
    • A: Comments are unfounded and facts completely wrong, as an example there was never a discussion on the Borough’s Ownership of Riggs lane

Ordinances:

a. Introductions: Ordinance 29-2020, Capital (Passed)

  • CAPITAL ORDINANCE PROVIDING FOR THE PAYMENT OF THE COST OF THE SYSTEM AND INSTALLATION OF AN IRRIGATION SYSTEM FOR MODICK PARK AND CONSTRUCTION OF A WALL AT NARITICONG FIELDS BY AND IN THE BOROUGH OF HOPATCONG, IN THE COUNTY OF SUSSEX, STATE OF NEW JERSEY; APPROPRIATING $18,500 THEREFOR FROM THE GENERAL CAPITAL FUND BALANCE TO PAY FOR THE COST THEREOF

b. Final Hearing (roll call vote)

  • Ordinance 24-2020, Vacating Riggs Lane Right-of-Way (Passed)
    ORDINANCE FURTHER PARTIALLY VACATING RIGGS LANE RIGHT-OF-WAY IN THE BOROUGH OF HOPATCONG, COUNTY OF SUSSEX AND STATE OF NEW JERSEY

Public Comment: Attorney spoke for 10 residents for the rights to have right of the public, once Hopatcong releases its rights, and askes that the ordinance is tabled for additional time. (Answer: Drom John Urson - the action we are taking tonight is correcting the tax records as the Borough does not own the property or any rights.)

  • Ordinance 25-2020, Auction of Property, 32 Alexandria Drive, Block 70107 Lot 35 (Passed)
    AN ORDINANCE OF THE BOROUGH OF HOPATCONG, COUNTY OF SUSSEX, STATE OF NEW JERSEY AUTHORIZING THE SALE OF CERTAIN PROPERTY OWNED BY THE BOROUGH AND NOT REQUIRED FOR PUBLIC PURPOSES AND MORE COMMONLY KNOWN AS 32 ALEXANDRIA AVENUE, BLOCK 70107 LOT 35

Public Comment: Residents requests who checks the title, most of the properties are tax foreclosures and the judge in superior court assigned the right to the Borough to sell the property, and the burden is on the buyer for a title search.

  • Ordinance 26-2020, Auction of Property, 16 Tufts Trail, Block 40306 Lot 2 (Passed)
    AN ORDINANCE OF THE BOROUGH OF HOPATCONG, COUNTY OF SUSSEX, STATE QF NEW JERSEY AUTHORIZING THE SALE OF CERTAIN PROPERTY OWNED BY THE BOROUGH AND NOT REQUIRED FOR PUBLIC PURPOSES AND MORE COMMONLY KNOWN AS 16 TUFTS TRAIL, BLOCK 40306 LOT 2

  • Ordinance 27-2020, Action of Property, 64 Roosevelt Trail, Block 40412 Lot 1 (Passed)
    AN ORDINANCE OF THE BOROUGH OF HOPATCONG, COUNTY OF SUSSEX, STATE OF NEW JERSEY AUTHORIZING THE SALE OF CERTAIN PROPERTY OWNED BY THE BOROUGH AND NOT REQUIRED FOR PUBLIC PURPOSES AND MORE COMMONLY KNOWN AS 64 ROOSEVELT TRAIL, BLOCK 40412 LOT 1

Resolutions:

  • 2020-130, Corrective Action Plan (Passed)
  • 2020-131, LOSAP Contribution List (Passed)
  • 2020-132, Ordinance cancellations to fund balance (Passed)

New Business:

  • Councilperson Johnson - Where are we at Septic Ordinance [Due in January 2020] – The Mayor will review with the clerk; They do have a draft that will be distributed to all Council members for their review
  • Councilperson Johnson – Where are we at with Metered Sewers. Mayor indicates at all locations have been metered and this action item is complete.
  • Request from Hopatcong Fire Chief to bring on a volunteer from the next town, he is recommended by the Chief, John Urson will review if they need to be a resident and if any exception is needed.

Mayor’s Comments:

  • October 15, 2020, there will be a ribbon-cutting at the New Solar Field
  • The Parks and Playgrounds are now open, please ask your kids and anyone you see to be respectable to the social distancing requirements
  • The aeration systems are working as expected and is expected to be a 2 – 3-year process.
  • The second phase that is now being pushed to help expedite the process by using good algae to combat the bad algae is being discussed with the DEP. This same project has been used to Save Lake Erie and has been used in New Jersey Lakes for the last 15 years.
  • The entire project is scalable and can be used in other coves or across the lake.
  • The Mayor has written a letter to the Governors' office to have the matter reviewed, as he continues to fight for the lake.

 

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