At the Common Council meeting on March 20, there will a presentation on the municipal capital and operating budgets, hearings on various ordinances that were introduced at prior meetings, a resolution on the Springfield Avenue parklet, and resolutions related to affordable housing. To view the complete Common Council agenda, go to: http://summitcitynj.iqm2.com/citizens.
2018 Municipal Budget Presentation
City Administrator, Michael Rogers, will make a presentation on the city’s operating and capital budgets. A public hearing on the budget will be held on April 17. The Administrator has been working with each of the city’s department heads since August 2017 to develop appropriate budgets. In December 2017, Common Council held a public workshop on the capital budget. The Finance Committee, comprised of Chairperson Beth Little, Council member Mary Ogden, Mayor Nora Radest, Michael Rogers, Chief Financial Officer Marge Gerba and Council President David Naidu, reviewed budget requests in meetings with department heads in January and February. Thank you to everyone that has worked diligently to achieve a fiscally-responsible and stable municipal budget.
Public Hearings on Ordinances
Following is a quick summary of the four ordinances for public hearing: (1) An ordinance to allow the city to exceed the state mandated cost of living adjustment (COLA) for 2018 from its current of rate of 2.5 percent to 3.5 percent and to “bank” any unused funds for the next two years. Approval of the ordinance does not mean actual appropriation of funds, and the “banked” funds would only be used in an emergency.(2) An ordinance to allow the Fire Department to increase the fees it charges to insurance companies — not to residents — for the costs associated with different types of rescues. (3) An ordinance to reduce membership of the rent commission to facilitate scheduling and improve its ability to meet. (4) An ordinance to modify development regulations for the installation of air conditioning condensers that comply with certain requirements to not require Zoning Board of Adjustment approval.
Downtown Sidewalk and Parklet
There are two resolutions related to outdoor seating. The city will enter into a leasing arrangement that will allow various restaurants on Union Place and in other downtown locations to set up sidewalk seating for an outdoor café. There is also a resolution to approve the conversion of two-metered spaces at 356 Springfield Avenue (in front of Batavia and Tito’s Burritos) into a parklet seating area from April 15 to November 15.
A resolution will be considered to approve the city’s spending plan for its affordable housing trust fund. Development fees are paid into the trust fund that has a current balance of $1.8M. It is estimated that from 2018 to 2025, the fund will increase to $2.15M. The fund is to be used in the rehabilitation of 131 existing affordable housing units and for the construction of additional affordable housing units at the Italian American Club property on Morris Avenue.
Another resolution proposes to change the city’s Housing Element and Fair Share Plan, and to clarify that homes built by Our House are not included as part of the city’s affordable housing obligation.
April is Autism Awareness month. Mayor Radest will issue a proclamation and present it to Zachary Brooks. We thank everyone involved in promoting autism awareness throughout Summit.
The first Council on the Road will be held at Wallace Chapel on March 27 at 7PM. Three additional sessions will be held this year; locations to be announced.
Next Council Meeting: Tuesday, April 3 at 7:30PM.